Space Tourism has been making some big headlines lately, and people are more eager than ever to get into space. Virgin Galactic is already taking reservations for wealthy folks to join the 430 astronauts on a space trip (date unsure), starting at a whopping $200,000 a seat.
The website says you can book yourself, or contact one of their Accredited Space Agents. Now that’s a job title!
But perhaps the most attainable space tourism vehicle so far is the “throwback to a rather more historic, stately era of travel—the balloon.”
Spanish entrepreneur Jose Lopez-Urdiales has invented the “bloon,” a flying device that can climb to heights of 22 miles and which allows passengers to “view the curvature of the earth, watch the dawn creep gradually across the planet, and even glimpse the empty blackness of space directly above.”
Uh, yeah, that’s a trip we definitely want to take.
And it has its advantages over the rocket: you can spend more time in space, and there is no engine noise. The first manned flight is set for 2013, with four passengers and two pilots.
It’s still not cheap, however…passengers can book trips for 90,000 GBP a seat. Lopez-Urdiales says it’s not about prestige, but about the view. Passengers will appreciate the reminder that they’re from a planet, that they are a part of something much better.
And it probably helps not to be afraid of heights.