RealTime IT News

Discount Space Flights up For Grabs

Bargain shoppers with a hankering for trips to outer space, rejoice. An e-commerce site dedicated to finding online savings on terra firma is giving would-be astronauts a break on upcoming commercial space flights, according to its co-founder Thursday.

The deal is part of a promotion the site is doing as it changes its name from Dealsdujour.com to BradsDeals.com.

The company is offering a 10 percent, or $10,000 (whichever is less), discount on any flights booked this year and scheduled for blast off before the end of 2008.

Like any self-respecting discount offering, it has caveats. For example, you have to read the fine print to find out space flight means reaching an altitude of 62 miles -- no mesospheric cheaters allowed.

Sure, the discount is designed to draw attention to a name change at an e-commerce site, but the discount is entirely legitimate and open to all comers.

Brad Wilson, co-founder of the company, said he's always been fascinated with space travel. His interest was sparked with the recent launch of Gregory Olsen, founder of Sensors Unlimited and Epitaxx, into outer space and the International Space Station, which cost the 60-year-old entrepreneur $20 million.

"I wish I had $20 million; I'd be there right now," Wilson said.

He also said he wouldn't be surprised to see a number of people actually take him up on the discount offer.

"I'm sure if you do the odds, it's not 50-50, but I really wouldn't doubt it one bit," Wilson said.

Thrifty shoppers don't need to book the $20 million package offered through Space Adventures to get into space just yet; the company will in the future offer a suborbital package valued at $102,000.

Virgin Galactic is offering a somewhat pricier fare at a minimum of $200,000, with flights scheduled to begin in 2008.

All a person need do to avail themselves of the deal is to register at BradsDeals.com, book a flight on any of a number of upcoming space flights available, present the receipt, and go into space.

(Note: You don't get the rebate until after the flight, so check out the space line's safety precautions and record.)

But before you leave, BradsDeals.com has found some great online deals for departing space travelers: discounts of Apollo 13 on DVD, a portable DVD player, a digital camera and finally champagne for the triumphant return.