Thinking of buying a ticket to somewhere for vacation this Winter like Florida or California? How about somewhere a little more unspoiled, somewhere not found on any Google Map, like ummm…space

Cathy Booth Thomas, reporter with Time Magazine, wrote a fascinating feature this week titled “Space Cowboys” profiling the main players in the bourgeoning space tourism industry.

The article sheds light on the future prospects of consumers being able to purchase tickets on flights that take passengers on an intense suborbital journey, filed with several minutes of weightlessness and views of the curved shape of Earth.

Thomas centers her article on Richard Branson’s commitment to space tourism with the launch of Virgin Galactic in 2004. However, Thomas also mentions several other notable names that are doggedly pursuing the endless possibilities of space tourism such as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, and John Carmack, co-creator of the Doom and Quake video game series. These space services in development range from space clothing outfitters to a space postal service. Even budget hotelier, Robert Bigelow founder of Budget Suites, is cashing in on the possibilities of space travel with the development of an inflatable, space station hotel.

Most of these companies are planning to launch passengers into space by the end of this decade with the cost of a space flight upwards of $200,000.

Me? I think I am going to keep buying those Wild Time scratch cards from the Michigan Lottery and think of those crazy views of Earth from the outer fringes of the atmosphere.

— Allen Arnold