NO IN-FLIGHT PEANUTS!

Peter Diamandis is flying high. The space-travel entrepreneur recently launched commercial zero-gravity flights, as well as awarding a $10 million prize for the first privately financed manned trip into space. And that's just the beginning. Diamandis says space tourism will be a reality soon enough.

The zero-gravity experience comes on 140-minute parabolic flights aboard a Boeing 727-200 that's been modified by Diamandis's privately held Zero Gravity Corp. At $3,000 a ticket, it's a fling that more than 600 passengers have sprung for. Diamandis is also selling his flights to Hollywood types who want to film weightlessness.

Diamandis's X Prize Foundation awarded the Ansari X Prize earlier this month to Mojave Aerospace Ventures, a firm backed by billionaire Paul Allen. The prize was for the first private firm to put a manned vehicle into space, return it to Earth and then repeat the process within three weeks.

Diamandis is next aiming for private orbital flight cheap enough to offer to the public through his Space Adventures travel agency. Within the decade, he's hoping for $3 billion annually in consumer and business spending on space trips and weightless flights. Financially speaking, that would be through the stratosphere.

NO IN-FLIGHT PEANUTS! | News