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Tourists To ISS Two At a Time Starting In 2012 91

Matt_dk writes "The US firm Space Adventures said on Friday it will be able to send two space tourists into orbit at once from 2012 onwards, on Soyuz spacecraft. 'We have been working on this project for a number of years,' said Sergey Kostenko, the head of the company's office in Russia. Each Soyuz will carry two tourists and a professional astronaut. One of the tourists will have to pass a year-and-a-half training course as a flight engineer. Space Adventures has been authorized by the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos to select and contract candidates for space tourist trips." Meanwhile, the AP has a look back at the delays and disappointments in the commercial spaceflight industry since Burt Rutan captured the Ansari X Prize 5 years ago — no space company has yet announced a date for commercial availability.
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Tourists To ISS Two At a Time Starting In 2012

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  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @06:03PM (#29638511) Homepage Journal

    And that's how you do it folks. Take a product that people are already climbing over themselves to pay deposits on, and then hype it some more, and back up that hype with an unrealistic schedule. When you go one year over that schedule, people might forgive you. When you go two years over people start wondering what the hell is taking so long. When you go three years over.. well, hello Duke Nukem Forever, can I have my deposit back please?

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @06:54PM (#29638837) Homepage Journal

    "People" understood nothing. There's still people *today* talking about Virgin Galactic like they're going to be doing orbital flight. In any case, the whole "Bigger Faster Better" aspect of SpaceShipTwo was a long time coming.. most people who put down their money thought they were going to get a flight on a vehicle identical to SpaceShipOne. Of course, since then the buzz has started to die off and crazy Will Whitehorn has been talking up the alternate uses for White Knight 2 should SpaceShipTwo never fly - which is great if you're trying to attract investors, but terrible if you want to stem the tide of people asking for their deposits back.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @07:16PM (#29638969) Homepage Journal

    5 years ago people were willing to pay $200k for a ride on SpaceShipOne.. there was a line of them out the door. They refused. Today, people have had 5 years to think about it and they're asking "Gee, what do I get for my $200k?" and now they're not really interested anymore. That's how you kill a market.. gobble up all the capital so you can make the only product, hype the hell out of the product, then not be ready when people come banging on your door. VG have openly said that people are no longer interested in their flights. Even if they were to fly next year (and I doubt they will fly for many years yet), there's likely to be less customers than they need to turn a profit.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @07:21PM (#29639011) Homepage Journal

    What part of this are you not understanding? The ISS does the science right? They need humans up there to follow instructions and do the busy work because putting robotic arms up there would be just too hard (or something). Basically anyone can do it.. you don't need to be a fighter pilot or a superman, you just have to have the training. So who gets the training? The hand picked military man? Or the guy who shows up and says "I'll pay you $30 million if you teach me how to do it". Kinda a no brainer.. you send the guy who is offering to pay you rather than the guy who is demanding a pay check. Duh.

  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @05:57AM (#29642279)

    I find it intensely amusing that the only commercial space flight companies that can actually put people into space for money, are the ones who outsource the actual business of launching rockets to a foreign government, using equipment designed by communists.

    To me it has exposed serious weaknesses in the corporate model of organization. Space travel just doesn't seem like something they can do, at all, whilst larger governments have been doing it competently for years. Sure, there are corporate contractors for government funded space missions, but they are kept on a very tight leash. It could be that higher-level organization is not something you can get from institutions built around artificially inflated self interest.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern