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Excalibur Almaz wants to offer the first private trip to the Moon -- provided you've got £100 million

Jon Fingas , @jonfingas
06.23.12
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Sir Richard Branson might want to look over his shoulder, since Virgin Galactic now has an even more ambitious rival. Britain-based Excalibur Almaz is planning no less than a trip to the Moon using reworked, Soviet-era Salyut space stations and Soyuz capsules as the vehicles for the multi-stage, 500,000-mile total voyage. Accordingly, no one will be living in the lap of luxury on the way there: there's just two habitation modules that will take three people each, and the six-month trip isn't going to leave much room for perks other than an isolated room in the event of a solar radiation blast. Not that there's as much of a rush given the efforts involved in making this look-but-don't-touch Moon orbit a reality. Anyone who travels needs to be in tip-top shape -- and the £100 million ($156 million) ticket will make Virgin's Spaceship Two rides seem downright frugal. Be sure to pack your gym shorts and a briefcase full of cash.