Two Chinese businessmen have already booked tickets for space trip in 2015 since registration began on the Chinese mainland on December 27, the China Daily reported on Monday.
More than 100 people have expressed their interest to explore space since such trips became accessible to Chinese travellers late last year, Zhang Yong, chief executive officer of Dexo Travel, a Chinese travel agency focusing on high-end travelers, was quoted as saying.
If everything goes well, the first group of private Chinese astronauts will likely to travel into space before the end of 2014 by boarding Lynx Mark I spacecraft and paying a minimum of $95,000 for a one-hour journey, according to the newspaper.
The Lynx Mark I spacecraft is designed to take travellers to a height of 60 km and there will be six minutes for tourists to experience weightlessness during the one hour long journey.
Space trips became accessible to the Chinese travellers after an agreement signed on December 27 in Beijing between Dexo Travel and Netherlands-based space tourism firm Space Expedition Corporation (SXC).
According to the newspaper, SXC allows astronauts to wear company logo on their spacesuit, and many entrepreneurs vie for the title of China's first company owner going into space because they want to enhance their company's reputation.
(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2014)