Not too long ago Boeing unveiled its plans to develop a commercial space capsule. Turns out the company has a grander scheme in mind: to enter the space tourism business itself. The company will follow a Russian model of taking tourists up alongside astronauts.
Right now, if you want to take a trip into orbit, you can. It'll just cost you tens of millions of dollars for a seat aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket headed toward the International Space Station. Virgin Galactic is the other option — though the company won't go as far as the ISS and it isn't in the air quite yet. The upside, there, is that you're looking at a more manageable $200,000 bill.
Boeing is going to go the way of the former. It's seven-passenger crew capsule is larger than the regular compliment of four astronauts that get shipped to and from the space station. During these rotations, Boeing plans to sell the remaining seats to wealthy tourists, at a cost that's comparable to a Soyuz ticket (which, lately, averages around $40 million).
The plan is more or less dependent on the ISS's crew rotation schedule, but Boeing plans for its first civilian passengers to go up in 2015.