You don't have to be an ex-boy bander (ahem, erstwhile *NSync-er Lance Bass) to book a space tourist flight, but you'll probably require a similar cash flow -- and you'll need to learn that the preferred term is "personal spaceflight" so as not to offend your travel agent and/or Mission Control. For the moment, the Russian government is the only outfit offering personal spaceflight, and even with a price tag of $20 million, the Russian Space Agency claims to be booked until 2009. But fear not, intrepid would-be astronauts! The private sector is looking to get in on the action, and at rock-bottom prices to boot, so long as several hundred thousand dollars strikes you as being a bargain-basement price. Richard Branson has jumped to the forefront of personal spaceflight with Virgin Galactic, which he calls "the world's first spaceline," joined by others, including Space Adventures and John Carmack's (yeah, the guy who created Doom) Armadillo Aerospace. Presently, private personal spaceflight offers suborbital flights that serve up a couple minutes of weightlessness and a once-in-a-lifetime view. Not quite the same thing as the trips to the International Space Station that the Russian government has been providing, but still far beyond anything that can be experienced on terra firma.
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