Adventure Travel Company (ATC), in Toronto, and Montreal-based Uniktour will offer amateur astronauts rides on the suborbital Lynx spacecraft under development by Mojave, Calif-based XCOR Aerospace.
The companies, which offer personalized safaris and the like for well-to-do clients, are acting as agencies for Space Exploration Corp. (SXC). The Dutch marketing firm is selling Lynx tickets on behalf of XCOR, most notably for men's personal care product company AXE.
SXC chief commercial officer Reinhard Spronk said the move is a nod to the Canadian public's large interest in space, which is partly a result of the media attention paid to the nation's off-Earth robotics program, which contributed the huge Canadarm2 robotic arm and other assets to the International Space Station.
"Canada is a space-minded country, and many people can afford the $95,000 ticket price," Spronk told SPACE.com. "[Space] is a lot cheaper than it has ever been."
XCOR aims to get the first tourists into its Lynx space plane by the end of this year for high-altitude flights, and then offer regular suborbital flights above 62 miles (100 kilometers) in 2014. Spronk said XCOR has a history of meeting its posted expectations.