Magazine article Insight on the News

Frequent Fliers Offered Space Treks; Travel around the Earth 400 Times and What Can You Get? A Free Boost into Orbit! (Travel)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Frequent Fliers Offered Space Treks; Travel around the Earth 400 Times and What Can You Get? A Free Boost into Orbit! (Travel)

Article excerpt

US Airways will allow customers to apply frequent-flier miles toward suborbital trips, part of a marketing effort with Space Adventures, the tourism firm that arranged to get financier Dennis Tito to space last year. The wanna-be astronaut will need 10 million frequent-flier miles, however -- 401 times the circumference of the Earth -- before he can earn that free trip to space.

"I'm sure there aren't hundreds of people with 10 million miles saved up," says Michael Lyon, vice president of corporate development at Space Adventures. Indeed, no one has reached that level. But there's still plenty of time to rack up the miles. No private company is expected to be able to take passengers into space until at least 2004, because no one has developed a rocket that can make the trip. When one is built, Space Adventures will lease space on the vehicle.

Space Adventures already markets a space junket independent of the deal with US Airways. The company says it has about 100 people who have made down payments for a ride on the yet-to-be-built space vehicle. …

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