Space tourism is on the road to recovery with civilians - or at least the select few who can afford the price tag and the physical demands of space travel - expected to be part of tourist flights to the International Space Station in 2004 or 2005.
US company Space Adventures and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency recently announced an agreement to secure the two seats aboard a Soyuz rocket, the first such move since a moratorium on space tourism was imposed after the Columbia shuttle disaster.
Those with large enough bank accounts to obtain a US$20 million ticket will follow the first space tourists Denis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth, each of whom paid around the same amount for their respective journeys into orbit.
Further details are not yet available and the plan is still subject to approval from NASA and the European partners in the space station.
For more on Mark Shuttleworth and the cramped "holiday" experience facing current space tourists, plus a look at the future of space tourism, see Gizmag article 1318.