Excerpt from our One-Page WSJ Summary:
Summary: There is growing competition among two private firms to be the first to offer private space travel to amateur astronauts. The two space tourism companies -- Benson Space Co. led by rocket entrepreneur Jim Benson and Virgin Galactic founded by Virgin Atlantic airline founder Sir Richard Branson and media mogul Paul Allen -- are hoping to offer private citizens the opportunity to travel beyond earth's atmosphere for around $200,000. The current price to travel on Russian spaceships and sleep on the Russian space station is a staggering $20 million. Benson's spaceship design (pictured) will hold up to six space tourists in addition to the crew and will be based on the NASA shuttle model. In addition to private companies exploring the possibility of space tourism, Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) recently announced plans to supply an improved version of its Atlas V rocket to a space entrepreneur planning a privately operated, orbiting hotel to house space adventurers. George Sowers, a senior Lockheed rocket executive, says the company will "try to do what we can to help this market take off."
Related links: Full WSJ article • Lockheed Flying High After Winning Lucrative Shuttle Replacement Contract • SpaceDev a Finalist for NASA's $500m Program • Investment Lessons From the Space Shuttle Launch • Space.com: Going Private: The Promise and Danger of Space Travel
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Boeing (NYSE:BA), Northrop Gruman (NYSE:NOC), Raytheon (NYSE:RTN)
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