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Space

+ - How Safe is Space Tourism?

Submitted by Radon360
Radon360 writes: The race to send tourists into space is heating up with billionaires funding their own companies to build and launch spaceships for nonastronauts. Meanwhile, earlier this month, a Russian rocket carried another billionaire, former Microsoft Corp. programmer Charles Simonyi, to the International Space Station. The ride was brokered by Space Adventures Ltd., a company that has announced plans to build spaceports in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

But how safe is the space tourism business? The subject is discussed in a WSJ interview with Patricia Smith, who heads the Federal Aviation Administration office responsible for overseeing the nascent industry, and space entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, a co-founder of Space Adventures and chairman of the X Prize Foundation, which awarded a $10 million prize to Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne in 2004.

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