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The ends of the Earth

What is it like to be in the world’s hottest and coldest places, or dive in the ocean’s depths? And will it soon be possible to visit space?

By Prospect   August 2011


Louis Brennan on space tourism

The euphoria surrounding the moon landings in the late 1960s generated enthusiasm for the commercial potential of space travel. Yet it took until 2001 for US businessman Dennis Tito to become the first space tourist. His example, and advances in engineering, have finally kick-started space tourism.

One of the biggest advances was made in 2004, when the Ansari X prize was won. The prize, for the first successful launch of a reusable manned spacecraft by a non-government organisation, was claimed by a joint venture between Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and the aerospace company Scaled…

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