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Their oil is going to run dry one day, so in the meantime, it looks like Persian Gulf countries are going to build spaceports. Okay, so that's a bit of a generalization&mdash but at least in the United Arab Emirates, the US company Space Adventures is set to build a new $265 million station with the goal to soon offer regular sub-orbital sightseeing tours.

Space Adventures sent the first three paying suckers customers into orbit at a reported $20 million a pop, so if they get this deal going, the could recoup their construction costs after only 14 rides. They might have to lower prices to stay competitive, though mdash;after all, Virgin headman Richard Branson is already planning to build a $225 million commercial spaceport in New Mexico for the same purpose. Let the price wars begin! As soon as it dips below fifty bucks, count us in. We've always wanted to see France.

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Building a Tourist Spaceport [Wired News]