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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Livedoor Entering Space Tourism Business

[Media Source*]

(MSN-Mainichi Daily News) FUKUOKA -- Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie has announced he wants to create a space tourism business, sending people into the celestial beyond by 2008.

Horie plans to use old Cold War-era Soviet spacecraft and said he wants to significantly cut the cost of space tourism from the multi-million dollar fees that have been paid up until now.

Livedoor's President Hori is attempting to reduce the cost of travel from 2.2 billion yen to something more "affordable" to the upper class. Although using cold war space craft could help reduce the cost of travel, investing in such a program seems rather foolish as such equipment has probably deteriorated over the years.

If Japan is serious about the upcoming space race then they probably should purchase newer shuttles as "hand-me-downs" may not cut it a hundred thousand feet up into space.

(MSN-Mainichi Daily News) Horie, who will carry out the plan with a special project team called Japan Space Dream, has already signed a deal with a Russian company and they displayed an actual space module at the fair.

JSD and Horie plan to send tourists into space in an Almaz capsule and have them stay in a Solyut space "hotel." The Soviets developed the 8-meter-long, 2.5-meter-diameter Almaz for military and espionage use in the '70s. The re-usable module is placed atop a rocket and fits three.

Hopefully these "space hotels" are spacious although a visitor may not care as they would be undertaking an event few people on the planet get to experience. Although many are probably concerned about the use of ancient Russian technology, Horie seems confident and even claims that, "This old stuff is far more reliable than the latest technology." Lets all pray that he is right because if not, we may have another Columbia on our hands.

Image Credit: MSN-Mainichi Daily News, Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie inside an Almaz module at a space fair in Fukuoka.

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By Darnell Clayton • 8:28 PM • Email Post • •


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