Space tourists are not rocket scientists and might be super sized

Posted: May 27, 2005 05:15 pm EDT
Earlier this month, Space.com had a chat with Jane Reifert, President of Incredible Adventures, Inc the Florida-based company that offers programs giving astronaut-wannabes a chance to get to space.

For a long time, I resisted attending the space conferences and sharing my knowledge of adventure travelers, Jane told the website. But I now worry that if I dont speak up, expensive mistakes will be made that will grind the space tourism industry to a halt before it gets off the ground. The Great engineers out there working on the first generation of space tourism vehicles are not necessarily in tune with the passengers they are building for, she says.

So she wants to point out a few things about the future space clients, and the funny thing is, that this could well be a blue print of a commercial Everest expedition leader's advice on clients:

1) They arent rocket scientists.
2) They may be super-sized.
3) They wont really care where you put your spaceport.
4) They shouldnt be expected to meet stringent physical requirements.
5) They dont like surprises and expect perfection.
6) They arent overly concerned with price or safety.
7) Theyre short on time.
8) Theyll likely be men over 50.
9) They will come from around the globe.
10) Theyre nothing like the tourists that show up at Disney parks.

Incredible Adventures was started by an American businessman who was in Moscow recruiting programmers for his software company. He was offered a ride in a MIG aircraft and was hooked. He returned to Florida and started MIGS, etc in 1993. For the first time ever, you could pull out your credit card and buy a flight in a high-performance military jet, the website says.

The company grew and was bought by a venture capitalist. It was then expanded into a full-fledged adventure travel company offering many unique programs. Today, Incredible Adventures offers fighter jet flights in four countries, space adventures at Star City, three different great white shark dives, military adventures around the world, and more.



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