Boeing plans to fly tourists to space

New York, Sept.16 (ANI): Houston-based Boeing Company has announced a tentative agreement with Space Adventures Ltd to provide seats for private passengers into outer space.

The seats would be on board its CST-100 spacecraft, which it is developing under NASAs push for commercial crew spacecraft. The CST-100 could carry seven people and fly on multiple launch vehicles.

The craft is expected to be operational by 2015, the New York Times quoted Boeing, as saying in a statement on its website.

Virginia-based Space Adventure has brokered seats for seven people on eight flights to the orbiting International Space Station, each at a cost of millions of dollars, mostly on board Russian spacecraft.

No price has been set for the Boeing flights, which are most likely to be launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station.

The Obama administration has proposed turning over to private companies the business of taking NASA astronauts to orbit.

Current NASA plans call for four space station crew to go up at a time, which would leave up to three seats available for space tourists.

The flights would be the first to give non-professional astronauts the chance to go into orbit aboard a spacecraft launched from the United States.

Seven earlier space tourists have made visits to the space station, riding in Russian Soyuz capsules.

"We're ready now to start talking to prospective customers," said Eric C. Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures, the space tourism company based in Virginia that would market the seats for Boeing. (ANI)

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