To infinity and beyond!

AERA Corp., which is developing the Altairis Rocket for civilian space travel, has started selling tickets for its maiden flight, expected to lift off from Cape Canaveral in December 2006.

Altairis is designed to launch six passenger astronauts and one mission commander into space and bring them safely back to Earth. But there aren’t any cheap seats on this flight. Tickets cost $250,000. A 25% deposit is required up front, plus all “astronauts” must meet certain minimum physical requirements, according to Bill Sprague, president, CEO and chief scientist of the Temecula, Calif.-based company, which bills itself as a leader in the luxury space travel industry.

Don’t want to be a pioneer? You can reserve a seat — at a better price — for one of the 30 anticipated flights in 2007 at

“We believe that the flights subsequent to 2007 and beyond will be less expensive than the first flights,” said Sprague.

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