You’ve probably heard about Virgin Galactic’s space tourism program that’s set to launch sometime in this decade. But did you know that space tourists will be subject to the same aviation rules that apply to airlines?
Not only will FAA agents be screening space tourists, but FAA is also suggesting that space tourism companies check the global "no-fly" list, from US Homeland Security Department, to exclude potential terrorists. "New technologies carry new risks. Nonetheless, Congress recognizes that private industry has begun to develop commercial launch vehicles capable of carrying human beings into space, and greater private investment in these efforts will stimulate the nation’s commercial space transportation industry as a whole," said the FAA report. (BBC News).
Talk of regulations hasn’t discouraged interested space tourists, however. The Virgin Galactic home page has been visited by about 7.5 million people, and 3500 have said they are willing to pay a deposit as soon as flights become available. The cost of a 2-hour flight, including 5 minutes of weightlessness? Roughly $190K.