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Boeing teams with Space Adventures to sell tickets to Space Station

September 15, 2010 |  6:44 pm

Looking for a ticket to outer space?

Chicago-based Boeing Co. announced Wednesday that it had struck a deal with Space Adventures, a private spaceflight marketing firm, to offer open passenger seats aboard the seven-person spaceship that Boeing is developing in Huntington Beach. The spaceship is designed to fly atop a variety of launch vehicles and is expected to be ready to go by 2015. MTF10-0006-04_CST100

Boeing and Space Adventures wouldn’t say how much trips aboard the Boeing spacecraft would cost, but it will be “tens of millions of dollars,” according to Eric Anderson, Space Adventures' co-founder and chairman.

The spaceship, dubbed the Crew Space Transportation-100, is considered a contender for the job of ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station after the space shuttle program ends in 2011. It faces competition from several privately funded companies, including Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, and its Dragon capsule.

If NASA chooses Boeing’s spaceship for the job, Vienna, Va.-based Space Adventures will sell the open seats when they are available.

Space Adventures has organized eight trips to the space station for seven space enthusiasts on a three-person Soyuz rocket owned by the Russian government. Its first client was Dennis A. Tito, a California multimillionaire who founded Wilshire Associates Inc., an investment firm in Santa Monica.

In 2001, Tito was the world's first space tourist, shelling out $20 million for the ride.

Boeing’s spaceship is also designed to fly to the first privately funded space station. Built by Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, it is slated to be ready by 2015. The video above shows what they hope docking will look like.

-- W.J. Hennigan

Photo: Artist's rendering of a look inside the Crew Space Transportation-100. Credit: Boeing Co.