How do you get to space? You canand undergo years of training. Or you can buy a ride on a SpaceX Crew Dragon through space tourism company Space Adventures.
On Tuesday, Space Adventures announced an agreement with SpaceX to launch private citizens to orbit on a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Apparently, the interest was so intense that the Space Adventures website went down after SpaceX retweeted the news.
A promo video promises that tourists will "fly further from Earth than anyone in the last 50 years." The expected launch date is set for between late 2021 and the middle of 2022 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The orbital flight would last up to five days.
Space tourists would need to undergo several weeks of training in the US before launch. Space Adventures co-founder Eric Anderson and the Space Adventures Twitter account filled in a few details.
The Crew Dragon capsule would launch on a Falcon 9 rocket, but it won't dock with the International Space Station. Space Adventures refers to this as a "free-flyer mission."
Anderson said the spacecraft would attempt to reach a higher altitude than the space station. "Quite unique," he tweeted.
Space Adventures has a track record in orbital tourism. In the first decade of the 2000s, it brokered a series offor a handful of customers. It also signed a back in 2010 to fill spare seats on the Starliner crew capsule with space tourists.
during a 2019 uncrewed test flight as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX, meanwhile, is preparing its Crew Dragon capsule to carry NASA astronauts to the ISS.
One big detail still missing from the SpaceX and Space Adventures agreement is the cost of a trip. Space Adventures spokesperson Stacey Tearne told CNET that the "price of the mission will not be disclosed" but that it will be in the same range as other orbital spaceflight opportunities.
Space tourism voyages to the ISS ran well into the multimillion-dollar range.
"This will provide up to four individuals with the opportunity to break the world altitude record for private citizen spaceflight and see planet Earth the way no one has since the Gemini program," Space Adventures said in a release.