Isle of Man Leading Space Tourism Race, Seeking First "Explorer"

5 December 2012

The top competitors in the private space tourism industry are the United States, India, Russia, China - and the Isle of Man, which, according to a recent BBC article, might very well be leading the charge. Becoming one of the world's first space tourism hubs has already brought the region millions, and now that they're close to being the first program to launch a tourist to space, the prospects are only looking brighter:

The Isle of Man government's director of space commerce, Tim Craine, said the global space industry is currently worth about $300bn a year and, as the host to 30 of the 54 international companies, the Isle of Man's share will be significant.
"If you look at the projected turnover of all the companies based on the island over the next three years, it has been conservatively estimated to be in excess of £1.7bn," he said."Over the last eight years it has brought in over £36m in direct exchequer benefits."

The Man government's program would allow tourists to travel 60,000 miles past the moon, which is farther than anyone - including the 28 astronauts who've been to the moon - have ever been. The price tag?  £100 million. The government likens the wealthy potential clients to Christopher Columbus, saying they "will be remembered in the same way as some of the intrepid heroes of the past."

For more details, read the entire article on the BBC.