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Space tourism becoming a reality...at least for the super rich

Commercial space travel is no longer science fiction as more private companies join the spaceflight industry.

HOUSTON — It feels like we have been talking about space tourism for decades, but it could finally be launching into reality. 

Let’s connect the dots.

Seat on Russian spacecraft sold for $20 million

It April 2001, wealthy businessman Dennis Tito paid $20 million for a seat on a Russian Soyuz. It was a pricey ticket for a short trip, and since then only seven people have followed suit. 

According to reports, NASA has always been hesitant to allow tourists to travel with its astronauts. It was really only the Russians looking to cover costs who were willing to let tourists on board.

RELATED: Amazon's Jeff Bezos going to space in July, on one of his rockets

Blue origin first SpaceX next

But now with the rise of private space companies… options for tourists to travel into space our popping up fast and furious. Blue Origin is planning a suborbital flight on July 20th. While Jeff Bezos and his brother will be on board there will also be the winner of an online auction. Meanwhile, in September, SpaceX is launching four civilian astronauts into space onboard the crew dragon capsule.

Virgin Galactic trouble expensive tickets

Despite these promising steps, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. 

Virgin Galactic is the other big private player when it comes to space tourism. A pilot was killed in a crash in 2014, and engineers were forced to make significant changes. Now it says it won’t launch tourists until 2022. 

Then there is the price with tickets ranging from $55 million to $200,000 depending on the trip, keeping the stars still out of reach for most of us.

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