Soap Lake, Washington, is like a lot of U.S. towns: visitors were who once attracted to its healing mineral springs now have hot tubs at home and visit Disneyworld instead. Two Soap Lake residents think what the town needs is a unique and gigantic attraction that will make Soap Lake irresistible to tourists. “People will come to see this from all over the world, just as they do when visiting other structures of awe,” say designers Brent Blake and John Glassco. The proposed structure has been described as “similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Space Needle in Seattle.” What could this breathtaking tourist attraction be?

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The Suborbital Corporation, a Russian space company, has developed a reusable ship for space tourists who can pay $100,000 to spend three minutes in zero gravity on a suborbital flight. This may seem like a lot, but it?s much less than the $20 million that the first space tourist, Dennis Tito, paid. Suborbital is working with the U.S. company Space Adventures. The ship is expected to become operational in three years and 100 candidates have already signed up.

The three-seat S-XXI ship has room for a pilot and two passengers and relies on technologies developed for the Soviet Buran space shuttle, which made a flawless unmanned flight in 1988 before the project was dropped for lack of funds.
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