Adventure Travel: Space
Earth Orbit: 1 2 3 4 5
Outfitter: Space Adventures, Ltd. (www.spaceadventures.com)
Price: $200,000 to $100 million
Remember Sputnik and Mercury? Well the Space Race is back, but this time, you could be the ultimate winner. In first place, for now, is Space Adventures, Ltd. with a star-studded roster of former astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, and the title of being the only private outfit to have actually flown "space tourists" to the International Space Station. In second: Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, whose mission is to bring affordable spaceflight to the masses by 2008. Virgin Galactic pledges to drop the price for orbital flight to $200,000—not cheap but certainly less exorbitant than the $20 million that Space Adventures currently charges.
Assuming you can't afford to fly outright, you have two options for next year: Take one of Space Adventures suborbital adventures (flying in a jet to the limit of the atmosphere costs $100,000) or start saving in hopes that Virgin Galactic will make good on its promise to bring real spaceflight within range. With the success of recent test flights, it might not be such a bad bet. But Space Adventures has already upped the ante: They'll fly you to the moon in 2008 for a cool $100 million.
Pick This If: Your credit line, like the sky, knows no limit.
Explore the world over with our guide to the best in adventure travel for 2006:
East | South | West | North | Space
Pick up the November 2005 issue for great adventure travel ideas, news, and articles by award-winning writers.