Space Adventures — Its rides to riches story

The Washington Post spotlights Space Adventures, which has solidified its role as the ticket agent for people who want to hitch rides on existing spacecraft.

Launching tourists into space doesn’t seem the least bit absurd to Eric Anderson, 32, founder and chief executive of Space Adventures.  But it was a concept that evoked a fair amount of skepticism when Anderson started his company nine years ago with $500,000 from a few investors.

While Anderson was one of the first entrepreneurs in the field, he is getting some deep-pockets competition: Robert Bigelow, founder of the Budget Suites hotel chain, is developing inflatable space stations and expects to launch vessels designed for people by 2010. PayPal founder Elon Musk started the rocket company SpaceX to build vehicles to carry cargo and people to the space station.

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