When thinking of space travel, Florida and Texas probably come to mind, but what a company in Sweden wants to help you fly to space.
Spaceport Sweden one day hopes to offer flights launching from Kiruna, Sweden into suborbital space aboard space planes owned by Virgin Galactic, XCOR and other commercial spaceflight companies. Officials with the spaceport are planning to build a new visitor's complex to open the spaceflight experience up to more people each year. Spaceport officials laid out their plans in a new video about Sweden's space tourism plans unveiled this week.
"Spaceport Sweden clearly has proven it has the potential to be a world-class, space-oriented attraction, drawing 145,000 annual visitors," Spaceport Sweden's CEO Karin Nilsdotter, said in a statement. "The uniqueness of the facility and location, the authenticity of our space attractions, and the ability to be the tourism hub for Kiruna will enable Spaceport Sweden to become a top tourist destination in Swedish Lapland."
Spaceport Sweden currently launches Zero-G aircraft flights and aerial tours of the northern lights via airplane. The northern lights flights take passengers above the clouds and over the Artic to capture stunning views of the aurora borealis from the sky.
The future visitor's center is expected to include interactive exhibits and programs, officials with the spaceport said.
"The complex is envisioned to bring true adventurers access to space as innovative companies like Virgin Galactic, XCOR and others establish themselves in Kiruna," Spaceport Sweden officials said in a statement. "Other activities offered could include a free-fall wind tunnel experience, a weightless flight experience, astronaut training, launching a high-altitude balloon with a retrievable camera, or a flight in an experimental aircraft."
Virgin Galactic is expected to start flying passengers on their suborbital space plane SpaceShipTwo sometime in 2014. So far, more than 600 tickets to ride have been purchased. It currently costs $250,000 per ticket.
XCOR Aerospace has developed Lynx, a one-passenger rocket plane that could start commercial flights later this year. Lynx tickets are currently prices at $95,000.
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Miriam Kramer joined Space.com 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 Space.com'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.