Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Private Space Travel Becoming Reality

TUCSON, Ariz. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Private space travel is quickly becoming a reality thanks to a company designing a small spacecraft that will take tourists from the Earth to the Moon.

SpaceDev, a company specializing in private space exploration, is designing something called the SmallTug, a 220-pound washing machine-sized spacecraft, which the Poway, California-based company hopes to launch into space by 2008.

SpaceDev CEO Jim Benson says the craft would travel through a “gravity tunnel” that is part of the InterPlanetary Superhighway and dock on the Lunar Lagrange L1 point, located 85 percent of the distance from Earth to the Moon.

Benson hopes the space vehicle is just the first step in planet-to-planet travel.

Although the expected launch date is only a few years away, Benson doesn’t expect a private citizen to man the spacecraft any time soon.

He says, “A lot of experiments and tests have to take place first.”

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