Now this is definitely an article we didn’t think we would get to write anytime soon, or at least not during our lifetime! When commander Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon together with lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin in the summer of 1969, they were envied and praised by billions. By then, people’s obsession for space exploration was also greatly fuelled by the beloved SciFi space-themed Star Trek series that aired in the 60s. The series featured William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the captain of the starship Enterprise. Today, the actor who breathed life into the iconic captain has finally witnessed the vastness of the universe with his own eyes, in real-life, for approximately 10 minutes. He boarded Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin NS-18 located in Texas on the 13th of October 2021, flew into space, and boldly made one small step into the aircraft while writing probably one of the most iconic crossover stories of our era. He also made history as the oldest person to go to space.
However, Captain Kirk wasn’t the first space tourist to make this incredible trip. He was accompanied by:
- Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s VP of mission and flight operations
- Chris Boshuizen, an Australian engineer who became the third Aussie to go to space
- Glen de Vries, co-founder of Medidata Solutions, the most used clinical research platform on the planet
This, however, was Blue Origin’s second launch of a crew made entirely of civilians, after the inaugural flight in July that sent Jeff Bezos, his brother, and two other civilian passengers to space.
Suborbital Flights For Civilians Are No Longer Science Fiction
If, just a few years ago, atmospheric zero-gravity and high-altitude jet flights were the only commercial flight options available for tourists eager to experience their own outer space experience. Things are different today. Anyone with a enough budget and a will to go on a recreational rocket trip to outer space can buy a ticket and embark on a truly unusual and out-of-this-world experience.
As incredible as it may still sound to some people, this is no longer a SciFi movie script or a cool theme for a game of slots, but a palpable thing: space tourism has become a reality of our times. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic companies have already broken the ice and completed the first successful commercial flights to space. If you are curious to know what traveling to space as a tourist means, keep reading.
Main Requirement: Kick Back And Enjoy The Ride!
After successfully completing a space flight with a full crew in July 2021, Virgin Galactic started putting space flight tickets up for sale. The price? A whopping $250,000. What would such an expensive ticket bring you? Your very own spacesuit, for starters, plus, of course, a once-in-a-lifetime trip in the VSS Unity, carrying you to the edge of space.
Booking a flight on Blue Origin’s craft called New Shepard was auctioned off for $28 million in June 2021, while a flight to the International Space Station via SpaceX’s Crew might cost $55 million for a single passenger.
What would be expected from you on any of these rides? To simply sit back and enjoy the fantastic trip. Compared to the work of a professional astronaut, you will not need to worry about wrapping your head around any complex spacecraft flying operations. The company you choose will take care of everything for you. Of course, you will be required to…
Pay Attention During Training
You will receive minimal suborbital space flying training for tourists. The training will last for a few days and consist of elementary training activities to prepare the flight, including mission planning, training regarding crew provisions, and medical and support instructions.
Prove You Can Handle Heights Well
It goes without saying that you should also be capable of handling heights well before setting foot on any of these capsules. Being prepared to walk on uneven surfaces is probably another good thing mentally prepare for. Another requirement for future space tourists is that of supporting up to 3x their own weight, and being capable of safely getting in and out of the capsules.
Get Ready To Move In Zero Gravity
Besides having to successfully pass a couple of mission simulations, space tourists will also be asked to learn and practice a few techniques for moving around in a small space with zero-gravity. This is necessary once the capsule reaches its maximum height, all space passengers will get to experience a few minutes of incredible weightlessness prior to coming back to Earth.
Passengers will need to practice relaxation techniques for the muscles and learn how to let their bodies sink right into the couch used for the launch, so they can tackle the G-forces better. Scuba diving or zero-G flight training sessions are excellent ways of getting ready for the big trip to space. There are plenty of commercial companies such as the Zero Gravity Corporation that are ready to help you experience weightlessness in exchange for a fair ticket price, of course.
To practice more relaxation techniques, you could listen to a space-themed playlist for space travelers and astronauts and play some popular songs from talented Phoenix artists, or, why not, play some songs about partying to celebrate the big event. A flight to the edge of space would definitely give you plenty of reasons to party!
Would You Buy A Ticket?
At the moment, there are approximately 600 customers from 58 countries who have already paid around $250,000 to get on board the spacecraft belonging to Virgin Galactic, in a desire to travel to the edge of space. Blue Origin New Shepard tickets are also available for purchase, of course, at similar head-spinning prices. Would you buy a ticket, if you could afford it, and travel to the edge of space?