Local Firm Offers Suborbital Flights; $95,000 Pricetag Includes "Training" at Posh Sanctuary Resort

Ever wanted to sail above the curve of blue Earth in a spaceship?

Now you can -- though it'll cost you $95,000.

Phoenix-based RocketShip Tours announced today it would begin offering suborbital flights in 2010 through a partnership with the builder of the Lynx vehicle (pictured at left).

The cool-looking, reusable craft takes off and lands like an airplane. In between, it motors to the edge of outer space as the spacesuit-wearing pilot and single passenger enjoy the view.

XCOR Aerospace of Mohave, California, which boasts the first privately built liquid-fueled rocket engine, is still working on their spaceship. But the company has gone ahead and partnered with RocketShip Tours to begin selling tickets now.

It already has its first customer: Per Wimmer of Denmark, seen at right with RocketShip Tours CEO Jules Klar.

Klar is touted as an expert in the travel business, a man who worked with guidebook legend Arthur Frommer back in the 1960s to popularize "$5-A-Day" tours.

Klar wants to offer RocketShip customers a "total experience," according to blogger Michael Belfiore, who listened in on a phone conference about today's announcement.

That experience will be made sweeter by a five-day stay the swanky Sanctuary Resort on the flanks of Camelback Mountain for "training" that includes flights in acrobatic airplanes.

Could be a good Christmas present for the millionaire who has everything -- Ray Stern 

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.