It looks like Alibaba e-commerce platform Taobao is the place to be for a company looking to fill bookings for an expensive trip into outer space. After the Dutch Space Expedition Corporation opened up registration for a space flight on the site on Thursday with prices starting at around US$96,000, 305 buyers “purchased trips in the first minutes after the registration opened,” said a recent Xinhua report.
According to the details, the future space explorers hail from both first-tier and lower-tier cities:
Four entrepreneurs from Chengdu and two from Shanghai are among those who signed up for space travel, said the company, which did not reveal their identities.
“It is exciting that Chinese can enjoy space travel with a click of a mouse. Hopefully it will usher in a new chapter for Chinese to explore outer space,” said Zhang Yong, chief executive officer of Dexo Travel, a domestic travel agent that acted as the sole broker for SXC’s business in China.
The travelers will lift off from the Mojave Civilian Aerospace Test Center in the United States, and the round-trip ticket from China to the launch spot and back is included in the price. Participants can undergo an astronaut training week complete with flight simulation and weightless experiences to prepare for the five- to six-minute adventure.