An artist concept of the Russian built propulsion and habitation module linked to a Soyuz spacecraft. Credit: Space Adventures
For just $150 million, Space Adventures, a commercial space company based in Virginia, will give you a seat on a trip around the moon. The company says one customer has already signed up for the mission.
The “round-the-moon” participants will launch in a Russian Soyuz Spacecraft to the International Space Station where they will stay for 8-10 days before taking the 3.5 day trip to slingshot around the moon, coming within 100 kilometers of the surface. It will take a further 3.5 days to return to Earth. The trip could take place as early as 2015.
Space Adventures has already sent seven tourists to the International Space Station on board Soyuz spacecrafts. To reach the moon, a rocket booster (Block-DM upper stage) and an extra habitation module will be sent to the space station to rendezvous and dock with the Soyuz. The module will double the size of the Soyuz on the inside.
Eric Anderson, chairman of Space Adventures, said the customer who is signed up already is planning to do more that just stare out the window, but he would not say what exactly.