If you want to give something otherworldly, and downright expensive for the holidays, consider forking over $100,000 for a Founding 100 Astronaut Program, from the Space Expedition Corporation in Amsterdam. The program offers 100 travelers the chance to be part of its inaugural flight to space in 2014 and become an official astronaut.
But hurry, the program has 75 sign-ups already, including Victoria's Secret supermodel Doutzen Kroes and DJ Armin van Buren. For your hundred grand you get free mission training, invitation to events and trips such as, what else, launch parties, test-flight attendance, the Solar Eclipse Australia Festival and more, such as a three-night stay in Curacao, where one of the launch centers is located.
Once all seats are booked, SXC will host an event with raffle to determine which of the 100 will be the first to travel into space. The remaining order for flights will also be determined at the event.
If you go, you'll sit in the cockpit side by side with the pilot/astronaut in the XCOR Aerospace Lynx suborbital spaceplane, a specially designed aircraft that carries two people. When it crosses the official boundary to space, 62.1 miles up, to be precise, participants become official astronauts. At this height, you'll experience what only 525 have previously, the view of Earth from the thin, blue mantel of our atmosphere.
Flights launch from a spaceport in Curacao and the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California. There is no mention if inflight refreshments will be served. Visit www.spacexc.com for info.