How do you become a space tourist?

WASHINGTON: Thrill-seekers may soon be getting their adrenaline rush — and enviable Instagram snaps — from the last frontier, as space tourism finally takes off.
All you need is a little patience. And a lot of money.
Here’s an overview of where things stand.
Two companies offer short “suborbital” hops of a few minutes: Jeff Bezos’ Blue origin and Virgo Galactic, founded by Richard Branson.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket takes off vertically and the crew pod detaches and crosses the Karman Line (62 miles or 100 kilometers altitude), before returning to Earth with three parachutes.
Virgin Galactic uses a huge carrier plane, which takes off from a horizontal runway and then drops a rocket-powered spaceplane. This, in turn, rises to over 50 miles of elevation before sliding back.
In either case, up to six passengers can release their seats to experience weightlessness for a few minutes and take in the view of Earth from space.
Virgin Galactic has said regular commercial flights will begin in 2022, after two more test flights. Their waiting list is long, with 600 tickets sold so far.
But the company predicts it will eventually reach 400 flights a year. Two seats on one of the first flights can be won in a prize draw: registrations are open until September 1.
As for Blue Origin, no detailed calendar has been announced.
“We are planning two more flights this year and are targeting many more in 2022,” a spokesman told AFP.
Another way to reach space is through reality TV. Space Hero, an upcoming show, says it plans to send the winner of a competition to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2023.
The first tickets sold by Virgin Galactic went for between $200,000 and $250,000 each, but the company has warned that costs will rise for future sales.
Blue Origin has not announced any pricing. The anonymous winner of a public auction for a seat on the first manned flight paid $28 million but decided to postpone their trip.
It is unknown what amount has been bid for the seat secured by Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, who will fly in the auction winner’s place.
The more “budget conscious” people might want to consider spending $125,000 for a seat on Space Neptune: A capsule that offers 360-degree windows and is lifted to the upper atmosphere by a balloon the size of a football stadium.
Despite the promise of spectacular views, the balloon rises just 19 miles — far from the limits of space and weightlessness.
The 300 seats for 2024 have all been sold, but reservations are open for 2025.
No – you are only expected to be in reasonable shape. Virgin Galactic’s training lasts just five days.
Blue Origin promises to teach you everything you need to know “the day before you leave,” and the first manned flight includes pioneering aviator Wally Funk, who will become the oldest astronaut at age 82.
The company’s requirements include being able to climb seven flights of stairs in less than 90 seconds (the height of the launch tower) and between 5’0″ and 110 pounds (152 centimeters and 50 kilograms) and 6’4″ and 223 pounds (193 cm and 100 kg).
Elon Musk‘s company is also in the space tourism game, but its plans include trips that are much longer. The cost is also predicted to be astronomical – tens of millions of dollars.
In September, American billionaire Jared Isaacman chartered a mission called Inspiration4 to put him and three other passengers into orbit on a SpaceX Crew Dragon launched into space by a Falcon 9 rocket.
Then in January 2022, three businessmen will travel with an experienced astronaut to the ISS. The mission, called Ax-1, is being organized by the company Axiom Space, which has signed up for three other future flights with SpaceX.
Elon Musk’s company is also planning a trip to Earth orbit for four people, organized by intermediary Space Adventures – the same company responsible for the Japanese billionaire’s flight. Yusaku Maezawa to the ISS in December, aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.
Maezawa would also make a trip around the moon in 2023, this time aboard a rocket still under development by SpaceX called Starship.
He invited eight members of the public to join him, but registrations are now closed.


Leave a Comment