New Venture: Space Flights for $100,000

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A Texas company is joining a venture that New Mexico Spaceport officials say will bring down the price of space tourism - to just $100,000 per flight.

Rocket Racing, Inc., the company that hopes to stage NASCAR-style races in the sky, is joining Rockwall, Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace to offer suborbital space flights from $100,000 or cheaper.

The spaceport's anchor tenant, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, has already announced plans to stage space tourism flights for $200,000.

While either option would cost more than the average person can afford, Spaceport director Steve Landeene said the venture demonstrates capitalism has arrived in space tourism.

Either flight would be considerably cheaper than what's available now. Richard Garriott, a 47-year-old computer games designer, returned aboard Russian spacecraft Friday from a $30 million trip to the International Space Station.

Landeene said Armadillo Aerospace plans to move into a Las Cruces airport hangar that includes manufacturing space and offices for engineers. Launch testing will occur at the spaceport.

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