Supermarket Offers Space Travel Tickets

Austrian discount supermarket offers all-inclusive, sub-orbital flights.

ByABC News
October 22, 2009, 7:08 AM

October 22, 2009 — -- It's the kind of product warning one doesn't often see on the shelves at your local supermarket. Those with claustrophobia, motion sickness or asthma, reads the small print, should spend their money elsewhere. And at €209,555 ($313,955), the price tag too is a little out of the ordinary.

But the discount supermarket chain Penny Markt doesn't just sell groceries. As of Thursday, shoppers can pony up a small fortune for a trip into space. All inclusive.

Penny Markt, owned by the Germany-based REWE Group, is offering the space trips in cooperation with Rocketplane Global, a company based in Oklahoma. The package includes business-class flights to and from the launch pad, training, and a post trip party.

The actual space flight lasts about one hour from take-off to landing, includes three to four minutes of weightlessness, and achieves a maximum altitude of 330,000 feet, according to the Rocketplane Web site. The spaceship is little more than a specially outfitted, six-seater airplane equipped with two turbojet engines and a rocket engine.

Martin Fast, head of REWE Austria Touristik, insisted that the flights were "no marketing gag," in an interview with the Austrian daily Kurier. Still, the offer is meant to draw attention to Penny Markt's entry into the package travel business.