California rocket firm Xcor has its first space tourist

Per Wimmer of Denmark, the first commercial flight passenger of Lynx suborbital vehicle, shows his ticket for space
traveling after a press conference in Beverly Hills. Associated Press

A Danish adventurer is first in line to ride aboard a privately funded two-seat rocket ship designed by a California rocket maker to fly about 37 miles above Earth.

Xcor Aerospace said Tuesday that Per Wimmer, an investment banker based in London, would plop down $95,000 to be the first passenger aboard Lynx, a space tourism vehicle designed to take off and land like an airplane.
Xcor has yet to set a date for its first flight, but Wimmer hopes it will come in 2011, after a series of test flights by the Mojave, Calif.-based company.

Wimmer, also an Xcor investor, said he considered the space ride the trip of a lifetime and hoped it would inspire youngsters to live out their own dreams.

“If I can do it, they can do it,” said Wimmer, who has traveled to more than 50 countries and done stunts including tandem sky diving over Mt. Everest and diving with sharks.
Trips aboard Lynx are selling for $95,000 each, said Jules Klar, founder and chief executive of RocketShip Tours, based in Phoenix. Reservations have been made for 20 flights, he said.

Xcor’s main competitor, a partnership between Richard Branson and aerospace designer Burt Rutan, is building SpaceShipTwo, an eight-seat suborbital craft that will take passengers about 62 miles above Earth for $200,000 each.

It has not set a date for the start of the service.