Space Tourism Roundup

Expanding on NooBee’s post (below) about the Oklahoma Spaceport, several pieces of news from last week are of interest to those closely following the growth of space tourism and its infrastructure.

"The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CCAS) is laying the groundwork here for the rules to govern flights out of Spaceport Singapore, a planned $115 million (SGD $191 million) project to offer suborbital spaceflights and a host of other experiences to adventure-seeking tourists," reports: 

Slated to open in 2009, Spaceport Singapore is the brainchild of a consortium of investors and the Virginia-based adventure tourism firm Space Adventures, which announced the project – alongside plans for a United Arab Emirates spaceport and a fleet of suborbital Explorer spacecraft– earlier this year.

Space Adventures and its chief competitor, Virgin Galactic have disputed claims that they are in a "new space race" for tourist dollars. Nonetheless its difficult for observers to refrain from comparing their progress on both spacecraft and spaceports.

Or at least, it’s hard for us to refrain, and we read with interest news reports last week that the state of New Mexico has chosen a Los Angeles firm to design and engineer the new spaceport in the Land of Enchantment. 

Virgin Galactic also revealed design details of its SpaceShipTwo craft last week. Observers wonder
if changes to the craft’s rocket fuel and apogee indicate the possibility of Virgin Galactic pursuing point-to-point suborbital travel.

Finally, the company that bills itself as "the SouthWest Airlines of outer space" reports that one of its customers, Seattle-based ZG Aerospace, is offering to send business cards into space this summer for $50 each.

Who said space tourism wouldn’t be available to the masses?