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No longer limited to astronauts, space travel is moving from science fiction to reality for those who have seen it all on Earth, Bruce Kahn writes
Text by:Bruce Khan

ly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars ….” are the opening lyrics of a popular song made famous by American entertainer Frank Sinatra. It was published when the thought of going to the Moon was a dream, purely science fiction. However, as technology advanced, the dream became a reality in 1957, when Russia launched the first artificial satellite orbiting the Earth. On July 20, 1969, U.S. astronauts landed on the Moon.

During the last 60 years, unmanned probes have been sent toward all of the planets in the Solar System, as well as to many satellites, asteroids and comets. Spacecraft have soft-landed moon land rovers and have driven over the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. More than 500 people have also flown in space, 20 people have travelled to the Moon, and 12 of them have walked on its surface. Space stations have been built, and astronauts have learned to live and work in space for months or years at a time.

For anyone who grew up in the late ’50s, early ’60s, and ’70s, space exploration was the hottest topic in the news and school science classes. Many students, boys and girls alike, wanted to become astronauts when they grew up. Many still have a secret desire to fly in space. My own intense desire to travel has always included going up into space. So when I heard about “Space Tourism,” the wanderlust from within began to surface again and it gave me itchy feet.

Yes, the tourism industry has invaded outer space. “Space Tourism” describes the new industry in which ordinary people can buy tickets to travel to space and back. Over the past few years, a growing amount of professional work has been done on the subject, and it’s now clear that setting up commercial space-tourism services is a realistic target for business today. There are tour companies that not only provide flights but also will take reservations for hotels that are expected to be built in 20 to 30 years and will also sell you travel insurance.

The most prominent of the new space tourism companies is Virgin Galactic, owned by British businessman and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. Virgin Galactic is offering flights just beyond the space barrier on a rocket ship it has built. The flight features five minutes of weightlessness during a two-and-a-half-hour flight into space. Before Virgin Galactic, other companies offered flights, but they were limited to the ultra- wealthy who paid tens of millions of dollars for a trip to the International Space Station aboard a Russian rocket. With Virgin Galactic, which charges a “mere”$200,000 a seat, the flight is open to far more people.

More than 500 people have already placed reservations on a Virgin Galactic flight that will take them 62 miles out of the Earth´s atmosphere. It is expected that as other business tycoons invade this new market, competition will cause ticket prices to drop. There are more than 50 accredited space travel agents worldwide who can take your reservation in one of several different types of programs. And just like any other trip you can also purchase travel insurance, just in case you encounter any unexpected circumstances.

While the first flights have not formally taken off, research, test flights and program development is moving at a galactic speed. At the same time Space Agents are accepting reservations with $20,000 deposits (refundable), and the waiting list for a flight into space is growing. .

While it´s not for everybody, a flight into space is the gift for the person who has everything!




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Tourism that’s out of this world .

Once limited to astronauts, space travel is becoming a reality for those who want to really see the stars. Over the last decade the dream of space travel has moved from science-fiction to reality. In 1957 Russians launched the first satellite, and 3 years later U.S astronauts walked on the moon. Now, more than 500 people have been to space. .

In the 1950’s and 60’s, space travel was a “hot topic”. Everyone was talking about it! Children studied about it in school and dreamed about becoming astronauts. Many people nowadays still have a secret desire to visit space.

Now the tourism industry has a new target: space. “Space Tourism” will allow average people to buy tickets to travel to space and back! The most prominent space tourism business, Virgin Galactic, is owned by Sir Richard Branson. His company is offering flights on a rocket ship into space, featuring 5 minutes of zero gravity during the two and a half hour flight. Before Virgin Galactic, other companies offered touristic flights into space, but the tickets cost millions of dollars. A Virgin Galactic trips costs a lot less, $ 200,000. These tickets are expensive but affordable for not only the wealthy.

More than 500 people have reserved a flight on one of Branson’s rockets. While there are still many improvements and studies to be made, we will be seeing space travel as a new form of tourism in no time at all!

 

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Travel to Space

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Space Tourism

The Space

Discover its sights, sounds, and tastes:

Travel and learn!

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