Good news, galactic explorers: You no longer have to pay a million bucks for the privilege to be one of the only civilians to fly in outer space--just somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000.
Europe's EADS Astrium is developing a space jet to take off in 2012 that's one of a new generation of "airplane-to rocket" vehicles, according to BornRich: It looks like a conventional aircraft but is powered by rocket engines. The "Astrium Space Jet" can even take off from regular airports, though we somehow doubt that it will go through the usual taxiing procedures, as it reportedly can reach a 60-kilometer altitude in 80 seconds.
"The passengers' comfort and safety is taken care of by the extremely innovative seats that lessen the effects of acceleration and deceleration," BornRich says. That's comforting to know, but the real question is whether they'll serve honey-roasted peanuts. And how much do you tip the baggage handler to make sure your luggage doesn't end up in Florida?