The adventure that history may think as fictional or delusional is now taking off with us. Space tourism is welcoming wealthy adventurers to go somewhere where not many has been and seen. Like what Virgin Galactic said, “space is a virgin territory”.
After a brief tease of the thrilling tour, people jumped aboard. From 520 listed customers, £64M ($103M) is already in deposits. The first batch of flight will happen next year. Among the early birds to space were known personalities – Hollywood’s Paris Hilton, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt; scientists James Lovelock and Stephen Hawking; and royal Princess Beatrice. See Virgin Galactic passenger list.
A spaceplane can accommodate eight people. Two are pilots and six are passengers. Perhaps, among the six passengers was a photographer to keep track of the adventure. Virgin Galactic is excited to bring in the first batch of space tourists photos. With this mission of resolute publicity and marketing, it won’t be for long until they earned back their £162M ($261M) investment for the fleet of spaceplanes. In fact, the space industry has the potential to reach $1.6B in the next decade.
This growing industry also has growing competition. Orbital Technologies, a Russian company, plans to construct a “Hotel in the Heavens”. No gravity is the gimmick of the hotel. The price to get there was £500,000 ($806,000) and £100,000 ($161,000) to stay for five nights. Space Adventures in Virginia will bring you to the International Space Station for $50M. Other companies offering the adventure are emerging in California and Texas while a European conference was held in London in the talks of space tourism.
How will it go? Everything will seem like a flash. 90 seconds to ascend with a speed of 4,000km/h. After six to seven minutes of gliding to the space engineless and gravityless, they’ll start descending. Tourists will appreciate a view similar to this:
We don’t know where it’s going from here. I guess there will be more men – ridiculously wealthy men – to step on the moon in the near future.
Would you travel in space?