Whilst it is argued that John Glenn was essentially a tourist on his 1997 Shuttle flight STS-95, the first fee-paying space tourist was Dennis Tito, who visited the International Space Station in 2001. He was followed by South African Mark Shuttleworth. More individuals are keen to make the trip, such as boy band singer Lance Bass, who however had his trip canceled due to funding problems. After the Columbia disaster space tourism on the russian Soyuz is on hold, as the Soyuz is the currently only available transport to the ISS.
The U.S company Space Adventures has an agreement with the Russian Space Agency for a dedicated commercial flight to the International Space Station. The price for a trip on the Soyuz rocket is $20 million, and a launch date of 2005 is planned.
More affordable space tourism is viewed as a money-making proposition by several startup companies, many of whom are competing for the X-Prize. Most are proposing vehicles which would make a suborbital flight of around 90 minutes, peaking at around 150 kilometres or so of altitude and giving the passengers several minutes of weightlessness, the view of a twinkle-free starfield and the curved Earth below. Projected costs are expected to be in the range of 100,000 USD per passenger. Some companies are hoping to launch before 2005.
Space tourism is a common theme in science fiction, with at least some of the speculation tending towards the distinctly adults-only possibilities of weightlessness.