I Wonder if Orbitz Could Offer a Better Deal
Contrary to what you might expect from reading this site, I've never been much of an earlier adopter. There's all this buzz about the iPhone launching this week; personally, I just got a video-capable iPod. It is so much better than my previous iPod (and even that wasn't first-generation), it makes me think I should have just skipped the first one altogether. iPods have matured nicely over the past couple of years; I expect the iPhone -- if it succeeds -- will do the same.
That's why I'm not signing up for one of these lunar vacation packages. Well, okay, that and I don't think I could quite handle the $100,000,000 price tag. here's what that money gets you:
A Space Adventures team has blueprinted a circumlunar mission using a unique blend of existing and flight-tested Russian technology. At the heart of the lunar leap is Russia's venerable Soyuz spacecraft. A pilot and two passengers would depart Earth in their Soyuz, linking up in orbit with an unpiloted kick stage for a boost outward to the Moon.
"The Soyuz was originally designed as a circumlunar spacecraft. It hasn't flown with people around the Moon, of course. But the Soyuz would fly a free-return trajectory - a boomerang course - around the Moon. So there's not a lot that needs to be done to the Soyuz to accommodate for that...it could probably fly around the Moon right now," Anderson told SPACE.com. "There will be some upgrades to the communications systems...and we would make the window bigger too."
Anderson said that the Soyuz pilot and two passengers would not go into lunar orbit. "That comes later," he added, as a follow-on public space travel trek.
I wouldn't want to pay more than 1% of what they're currently asking for a trip to the moon. (Not that I could afford that, either.) And I would want that trip to include orbiting and landing on the moon. No doubt we'll need to cycle through several successive models for lunar tourism -- using newer technology and probably with competition thrown into the mix -- before we get anywhere near that. But I'm okay with waiting for a while.
Meanwhile, maybe I can find something good to watch on my video iPod.