Space is like any other destination: you either pay to go there or you get paid to go there. You’re either a passenger or a pilot. But though it’s only 100km away, neither option is easy.

Being a passenger requires a lot of money. In June, Nasa announced it would allow “private astronaut missions” to the International Space Station (ISS), for which it will charge $35,000 a night; getting there, in a capsule operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, will cost about $52m. Even the briefer excursions offered by Virgin Galactic — six minutes of weightlessness more than 80km above the ground — will set you back about $250,000.

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