Saturday, September 24, 2011

Space Tourism is real

Is space tourism for real? It has actually been for a while (over the past decade) but only to select individuals who paid somewhere between $20 million to $35 million. Russian Soyuz capsule flew the space tourists to International Space Station for a period of about 10 days. The exorbitant cost involved and safety concerns have been large impediments.

This may change in very near future. Virgin Galactic is promising to make it safe and affordable. Tickets would cost $200,000 and the company already has started bookings for the trips. Already the company has booked hundreds of future astronauts from all over the world. The timeline for the actual travel though is not yet clear.

Founded by Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, The Spaceship Company headquartered at Mojave Air and Space Port is actively engaged in building the first fleet of commercial spaceships (SpaceShipTwos) and carrier aircraft (WhiteKnightTwos) that will constitute Virgin Galactic's fleet.

In 2006, Federal Aviation Administration came out with more than 120 pages of rules for space tourism that covers everything from passenger medical standards to pre-flight training of the crew. Virgin Galactic claims that the required medical assessments are simple and nonrestrictive and most people with good health should be able to clear.

Are you ready for space tourism or the bigger question is do you have the $200,000 to take the leap?

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