...And Soon, Orbital Vacations

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Aera Corp. also says that three-day orbital vacations should be available within a few years. By the time they get there, Bigelow Aerospace, of North Las Vegas, Nev., may well be ready with orbiting hotels where those passengers can stay. Bigelow expects to launch its Genesis Pathfinder spacecraft early next year, Space.com reported on Tuesday. The launch will be a shakeout of systems to be used on a full-scale inflatable space structure dubbed the Nautilus, which is aiming to be ready for commercial use by January 2010. Start saving your pennies now, because the estimated price for visitors is about $8 million apiece.