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Rocketplane Global offers space rides to Austrians



They have offered a marriage ceremony, a video game that puts kids right in the cockpit, and now the latest offering is at the checkout stand " all to entice people to ride their rocket ship.

Rocketplane Global, an Oklahoma-based company intending to provide a space tourism business by taking people up for a joy ride into the Earth's atmosphere, tried several ventures to lure folks into spending hundreds of thousands of Earth dollars to be a rocket man. The state's government even handed Rocketplane $18 million in tax credits to help launch the business back in 2003.

But earlier this year, the company closed up its office near Will Rogers World Airport and fled the state without one liftoff.

As reported by, Austrian supermarket chain Penny announced last week it will start offering Rocketplane space rides in 2011 for visitors to their stores. So after checking out the produce aisle, picking up some sausages and cat food, feel free to slap down an extra $313,000 for a quick ride above the planet's surface. (And, if you don't have enough loose change while at Penny, the price is still a bargain $250,000 on Rocketplane's Web site.)

One can only guess how this offer was formulated between a space tourism company and grocery retailer. Does the grocer offer snacks? Do you get $10 off the ride if you purchase more than $100 of food?

The future is now in Austria's hands. Just make sure you don't forget the grocery list before heading to Penny: meat, milk, toilet paper and space ride.

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