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“Space on the Beach caters to people with an interest in
astronomy and space and to adventure travelers,” said Space
Adventures spokesperson Tereza Predescu. “It’s unique in the way we
have assembled a variety of exciting activities for a comprehensive
tour of the Big Island.
“We want to give clients an insight into geological and
astronomical processes that shape our universe, while exploring one
of the most beautiful and diverse islands in the world.”
During their week on the Big Island, Space on the Beach
participants take to the skies, land and sea during the following
" A two-hour helicopter tour of the island’s diverse landscape.
" A one-hour underwater excursion off the Kona Coast in a
" A summit tour of Mauna Kea observatories, including Keck, the
world’s largest one.
" A day tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
" Snorkeling at Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park, home to a myriad
of tropical fish.
The package rate covers the flights between Oahu and the Big
Island, accommodations, activities and most meals.
Clients spend two nights at the rustic Volcano House in Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park and four nights at the Hapuna Beach Prince
Resort on the Kohala Coast.
Leading the group is Guy Gardner, who has served as a fighter
pilot, test pilot, astronaut, government executive and teacher.
Currently, he serves as vice president of space flight development
for Space Adventures. During his 11 years as a NASA astronaut,
Gardner piloted two space shuttle missions.
One evening during the trip, guests are invited to relax with
Gardner on the beach at sunset as he shares stories of his space
Space on the Beach is recommended for hardy travelers. To reach
Kilauea Volcano, for instance, participants must hike over rough
terrain. Due to the 13,500-foot altitude of the observatories at
Mauna Kea, participants with heart or respiratory conditions and
pregnant women may not participate.
A one-day extension prior to the tour is available in Honolulu,
which includes a Polynesian astronomy lecture at Waikiki’s
Privately owned Space Adventures was founded in 1997 in
Arlington, Va., by a team of aerospace and adventure travel
experts. It assisted with and facilitated the flight of the first
and second space tourists to the International Space Station in
2001 and 2002. Through its partnerships with the commercial space
industry, it is developing a passenger suborbital space program,
with flights scheduled to launch before 2005.
The company’s other space-related adventure programs include
flights to the edge of space in the world’s fastest fighter jet,
zero-gravity flights, cosmonaut training, space flight
qualification programs, space shuttle and Soyuz launch tours, and
expeditions to the world’s major space and astronomy