The Virginia-based Space Adventures has already sent seven private citizens into space to visit the International Space Station and it plans on sending more. But the firm's officers and directors are also hard at work planning its first moon trip. In fact President Tom Shelley says the company is "confident that we'll be able to make an announcement about that mission later this year."
"You're going to get to within 100 kilometers [62 miles] of the moon's surface, so you're going to get a really close-up view of the moon and that incredible Earthrise as well. There are only 24 people who have seen that," Shelley told TIME this past week. The private lunar space mission will take humans on a circumlunar space flight over 7 or 8 days.
Space Adventures has been planning a lunar flyby since 2005. It offered the two seats aboard a Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft that will fly around the moon in a mission scheduled for 2015. Anderson won't say who purchased the first $150 million ticket, but hinted that you'll know the person's name when you hear it. Perhaps there will be more information Thursday afternoon in the planned Anderson-Garriott telecon.
Who could afford such a $150-million dollar space trek you ask? CLICK HERE, there are hundreds from around the Earth.