Would You Go?

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 The Soyuz spacecraft approaching the International Space Station carrying the first female space tourist Anousheh Ansari in 2006.

This week, we're checking back in with two pioneers in space travel: super successful businesswoman Anousheh Ansari, the first woman space tourist, and longtime space-enthusiast Lina Borozdina, who holds one of the first tickets for one of the first sub-orbital commercial flights. 

We're returning to their stories because commercial space travel is a high stakes proposition — one that has become even riskier and more expensive in the months since we originally spoke with them. Just two days after our emotional conference call last year, Sir Richard Branson's space travel company Virgin Galactic suffered a pretty huge setback. The SpaceShipTwo was doing a routine test flight when the aircraft dropped, falling back to Earth over the Mojave Desert and breaking into pieces. Only one pilot made it out alive. The NTSB report into exactly what happened is expected later this summer.

Then, last week, Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 unmanned rocket loaded with supplies for the International Space Station exploded back down to Earth.

Few doubt that there will be more failures and tragedies. In the meantime, the rest of us — these two women especially — have to evaluate how we feel about the costs of venturing into outer space for leisure travel.

In this episode, hear them explain the powerful lure of space. And hear Anousheh explain the life-altering joy of seeing earth from above, tears of joy floating past the window. It's pretty powerful stuff. 

Knowing what we know, would you do it?

If you're in their camp... the big name space travel companies are:

Smaller ones popping up all the time, from those still in their Kickstarter days, to those presenting at the big SpaceCom in Houston this fall.

Special thanks this week to producer Jackie Snow.

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