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Travel around the moon for only $100 million!

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08/10/2005

The Russians seem to be close to achieving yet another space first: a trip around the moon that will be wholly funded by "space tourists." The tab? A cool US$100 million. Of course, with three individuals in the Russian Soyuz capsule for up to 21 days, the accomodations for this voyage may not exactly be luxurious.

...Mr. Kraft added that the flight would be cramped and probably extremely unpleasant. With three people in a small Soyuz craft for an extended trip, he said, "I imagine that you could endure that, but, man, it would be tough."
Mr. Anderson of Space Adventures said the craft had about as much room as a sport utility vehicle. "Will it be cramped? Yes," he said. "But will it be doable? Yes." He noted that the Gemini capsule was smaller than the Soyuz, and that the astronauts James A. Lovell and Frank Borman orbited the Earth for 14 days in the Gemini 7 mission in 1965.
But Mr. Kraft, who was the flight director for that mission, recalled that Mr. Lovell and Mr. Borman were miserable. They complained bitterly that the trip was like "14 days in a men's room," and Mr. Kraft said that he had to talk them out of ending the mission early. "They wanted to get out of there," he said.

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