If floating weightless and peering down on a shimmering-blue Earth sounds appealing, you might consider being a space tourist........................As long as you've got a fat wallet.
Two years after the first privately financed space flight jump-started a sleepy industry, more than a dozen companies are developing rocket planes to ferry ordinary rich people out of the atmosphere.
Several private companies will begin building their prototype vehicles this summer with plans to test fly them as early as next year. If all goes well, the first tourist could hitch a galactic joy ride late next year or 2008 -- pending approval by federal regulators.
Unlike the Cold War space race between the United States and Soviet Union that sent satellites into orbit and astronauts to the moon, this competition is bankrolled by entrepreneurs whose competition could one day make a blast into space cheap enough for the average Joe.
For the rest of the story: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/0....ap/index.html