<i><b>Space Adventures to sell trips around the moon</b><br />NEW YORK (AP) — Space Adventures, the company that has sent "space tourists" up to the International Space Station, is planning a new mission: rocketing rich people around the dark side of the moon.<br /><br />The first mission, dubbed DSE-Alpha (for Deep Sea Explorations), could happen as early as 2008, company CEO Eric Anderson said at a Manhattan news conference.<br /><br />The first traveler would be only the 28th person in history to orbit the moon — not counting the cosmonaut of the Russian spacecraft that will make the flight — and the first person to orbit the moon in more than 33 years, according to the Arlington, Va., company. The trip will offer the chance to see the Earth rise from lunar orbit and a view of the far side of the moon, never seen from Earth, from an altitude of 62 miles.<br /><br />The price tag is every bit as steep: $100 million for each of the two planned passengers, which includes costs such as planning the mission, modifying a modern Soyuz TMA spacecraft for the trip and completing manned and unmanned test flights before the space tourists make their trip.<br /><br />The Soyuz has 10 cubic meters of crew space, about the size of a large SUV.<br /><br />Space Adventures is offering two options for its moon trips. One includes a 5½-day lunar flight and up to 21 days at the International Space Station; the other is a nine-day mission with three days of free flight in low-Earth orbit and the rest flying around the moon.<br /><br />The company has a long-term partnership with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation. Through that partnership, Space Adventures has sent American businessman Dennis Tito and African Mark Shuttleworth on a Soyuz for stays on the International Space Station.<br /><br />It has its next mission coming up on Oct. 1.<br /><br />Scientist Gregory Olsen, co-founder of a Princeton, N.J., company called Sensors Unlimited that makes high-tech infrared cameras, has bee</i> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
<font color="yellow">I didn't know that they had a booster for that. Also, I didn't think they have ever done this manned or unmanned. And 100 M seems rather cheap.</font><br /><br />That's because it's a fly-by. Now landing passengers and bringing them back intact for $100 million or double or triple that amount is where the challenge lies.
<font color="yellow">"thats a tough decision between going to the space station or flying around the moon..."</font><br /><br />Well, what would subject you to more radiation, a couple of weeks on ISS, or a trip through the Van Allen belts and out beyond the relative protection of LEO? I guess a trip around the moon in a Soyuz would certainly be no worse than what the Apollo astronauts experienced, many of whom are still alive today. <br /><br />Still, I think new, improved radiation shielding would be prudent for future trips beyond low Earth orbit.
that sounds funny. and the visual is even better.<br /><br />'well i don't know what to do. isn't this thing on autopilot. I don't know. I can't understand a word he's saying. what? we missed our turn. you gotta be kidding, where are we then, and how do you miss a turn? Heading towards the sun. well this sucks. can't he take a pill. dammit. i don't want to go to the sun.'<br /><br />okay i'm done. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I didn't know that they had a booster for that. Also, I didn't think they have ever done this manned or unmanned. And 100 M seems rather cheap.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Believe it or not, they do have a booster for it, and they have done it unmanned! It's not something very many people know about, and it's part of the convoluted story of the Russian race to the Moon. <br /><br />But yes, $100 mil does seem a bit cheap, but then, that's just for one seat. I'm guessing it's mainly to defray expenses, and now that the US is talking of going to the Moon, they want to try for bragging rights again. Also, now that Korolev is out of the picture, having been dead for decades, there will be less political opposition to Chelomei's booster. That's a long story, but I'll give an abbreviated version here. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />Years ago, the Russians decided they wanted to go to the Moon. Like the Americans, they knew that landing on the Moon was great for bragging rights, and that it demonstrated enormous technological prowess. Furthermore, the Moon is the ultimate in high ground, without leaving the Earth system. It's kind of useless today, but someday it could be very useful indeed.<br /><br />Two different camps developed with their own plans for a Moon mission. Korolev (often regarded as the Soviet Werner Von Braun) conceived of a mammoth booster called the N-1. This would permit the direct mission profile. (At least, that was the original plan. Like the American Apollo-Saturn program, they ended up with lunar-orbit rendezvous in their final plan.) Meanwhile, another prominent rocket designer, Chelomei, came up with his own vision: the UR-500 rocket. Neither rocket existed at that point. Both acquired political allies, and which plan was in ascendence generally depended on the politcal climate in the Kremlin. As a consequence, the efforts were effectively halved, which is probabl <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em> -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
Actually the plan is to launch the Soyuz capsule and dock with a Block DM in earth orbit. The Block DM is currently used as the third stage of Proton and Zenit rockets to place satellites into geosynch orbits.<br /><br />I would hope RSA plans on sending a couple of actual cosmonauts around the moon, just to test things out, before attempting it with tourists. Seems like a dangerous stunt if you ask me.
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Actually the plan is to launch the Soyuz capsule and dock with a Block DM in earth orbit. The Block DM is currently used as the third stage of Proton and Zenit rockets to place satellites into geosynch orbits. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Ah, so someone might finally do the Earth-orbit rendezvous technique this way! Cool. Now *that* is what a Space Station is for, IMHO. Doubtful they'd get the approval from the other partners to use ISS for that, and anyway it would add complexity to the mission, so I'd bet this plan won't make the ISS into the first space waystation.<br /><br />So with the Block DM, can they send a complete Soyuz? Does the DM have enough performance for that? That would make this much more promising as a commercial prospect. After all, it would be a lot less cramped than the old Zonds would've been.<br /><br />Very cool. Thanks for filling me in, formulaterp! BTW, I haven't seen you here before. Welcome aboard! I hope you enjoy your stay. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em> -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
CHECK THIS ONE OUT... <br /><br />Canadians Vie for Trip to Moon for $100<br />Trip to be auctioned off on Canadian online auction site<br /><br />FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br /><br />Monday, October 3, 2005. Ottawa, ON. UniqueAuction.com, the online auction company that makes dreams come true, is thrilled to announce that it will be auctioning off a once in a lifetime trip to the moon. <br /><br />For $100 online auction goers can place a bid on the moon voyage, but ultimately it won’t be the highest bid that wins but the most unique—a UniqueAuction policy. This ensures that the winner isn’t the one with the fattest wallet but the one who plays the game with the most strategy. A little luck doesn’t hurt either of course! <br /><br />This auction is not a gimmick; when UniqueAuction makes a promise it always delivers beyond expectations—in this case out of this world! The winner will train just as an astronaut would and ultimately orbit around the moon in a spacecraft.<br /><br />The auction will begin at noon on Wednesday October 5th and be given away to the most unique bidder on January 1st 2006. The winner will celebrate the New Year knowing they will soon be among the very few and very fortunate who have taken the moon journey. Better than the beach, a bungee jumping adventure, or even a trip to the wonders of the world—this trek to the moon conquers all. The winner will go, as the old adage says, “where no one has gone before!”<br /><br />On the moon agenda: A ride in a rocket, a God’s eye view of planet earth, weightlessness, and of course an up-close-and-personal meeting with the earth’s night-light.<br /><br />To spice the auction up a bit, UniqueAuction will also be offering anyone one UniqueAuction dollar towards a moon bid for each time they moon the moon or moon someone else—a photo of the stunt is required and must be sent to us via email.<br /><br />UniqueAuction invites media to be a part of this great event and help spread the word to Canadians that their chance to go