Commercial Space Travel Training Company Gets FAA Approval

Waypoint 2 Space Company to Train Spaceflyers
Commercial astronaut training company Waypoint 2 Space wants to train people to fly into space for a variety of missions. Image uploaded Jan. 29, 2014. (Image credit: Waypoint 2 Space)

Do you want to fly on a suborbital space plane? What about a rocket launch all they way into orbit? A new commercial spaceflight training company wants to help you develop the right stuff for flying to space.

Waypoint 2 Space — a Houston-based company aimed at helping commercial astronauts train for spaceflight — just received Federal Aviation Administration safety approval for their plan to train would-be astronauts. Officials with the company hope to start training commercial spaceflyers for private trips to space in spring of this year. People holding tickets aboard a private spacecraft or space fans interested in learning how to fly to space are eligible to purchase a training package.

"This achievement is an important milestone for us and for the commercial spaceflight industry as a whole," Kevin Heath, chief executive officer of Waypoint 2 Space said in a statement. "The FAA is working very hard to assure that space vehicles, launch sites and training programs are the safest they can be and we believe this safety approval for our programs is another step in that direction. If someone wants to go to space or just wants to experience what it is like to train like an astronaut, Waypoint 2 Space is their first step." [Top 10 Private Spaceships]

Spaceflight training doesn't exactly come cheap. Waypoint 2 Space's one-week "spaceflight fundamentals" program costs $45,000 and the company is currently offering 300 slots for people who want to train in the program starting in April. Full trips to space on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, for comparison, sell for $250,000 a ticket. The Zero Gravity Corporation, meanwhile, offers weightless trips on a modified jet for abotu $5,000 per trip.

The spaceflight fundamentals program is one of three commercial spaceflight training options offered by Waypoint 2 Space. The fundamental program is designed to give participants a taste of what spaceflight is like. It is expected to take people through g-force training, a history of spaceflight, microgravity training and other kinds of courses needed for flying to space.

The company is also offering specific suborbital training for flights aboard a space plane — like Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. However, registration is only available for service providers to reserve spots.

The third Waypoint 2 Space program is aimed at orbital spaceflights and will not begin until 2015. Officials with the company are taking wait list reservations to begin training next year.

"The Waypoint 2 Space team is a strategic mix of individuals who have developed training programs for both NASA astronauts and Air Force pilots," Kelly Soich, director of programs and chief payload specialist for Waypoint 2 Space said in a statement. "Waypoint 2 Space training programs incorporate the best techniques and technologies from NASA and Air Force programs while the FAA safety approval allows us to move forward with offering training classes and bringing the programs to the public. We are excited to be leading this effort and look forward to bringing the reality of spaceflight to our trainees."

Learn more about Waypoint 2 Space through the company's website:

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Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.