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Takes $200,000 To Book Trip Into Outer Space

Last updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Fifty years after the first American orbited the earth, intergalactic trips for hire are closer to becoming a reality.

In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first person to orbit the earth, circling the globe three times during his five-hour mission.

Now, anyone with $200,000 and a sense of adventure can book a trip into outer space.

Virgin Galactic, the dream of media mogul Richard Branson, has two spacecraft that travel 63 miles from earth, where the rocket engines are shut off and the passengers experience weightlessness.

So far, 500 people have paid money and signed contracts to vacation in space.

Travel agent Kelly Shea, one of 58 certified to book flights, said no one in Indiana has confirmed their reservations yet, but Michigan City businessman Paul Samman is considering it.

"What might be holding him back is his wife. She probably has other uses for that $200,000," Shea laughed.

The Virgin Galactic spaceship crews are still undergoing exhaustive training and the Federal Aviation Administration must license them before they can fly.

All passengers will need to pass a physical before their trip.

The first flight is expected sometime next year.

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