Plans are moving forward to send tourists into space.
Billionaire Richard Branson is committed to launching his Virgin Galactic “Space Ship Two,” transporting six passengers and two crew members 62 miles above planet earth soon. The first ship blew up, but Branson says he expects the next test flights will be within weeks, not months. Current price tag is around $250,000, but he’s hoping to be able to lower that to a more reasonable $40,000 at some point.
Hurtling through space -- scary or thrilling for the casual tourist? Houston Museum of Natural Science Astronomy Curator Dr. Carolyn Sumners says it’s a step up from a roller coaster ride, but not by much. “It would be probably no more risky, because it’s short in time duration, than some of the crazy things we used to do at AstroWorld, because you did pull multiple G’s on the old Greased Lightning, if anybody remembers it,” she tells KTRH News.
But former NASA retired astronaut Clayton Anderson, who flew missions on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, says the view is better.
“I hope they’re in awe and inspired by the beautiful view. I’m guessing, though, they might be reaching for a puke bag though.”
Oh. That’s something they don’t tell you about in the advertising brochure.
“It used to be about 50% of the astronauts got sick when they went up into space,” he informs.
But you can’t stop progress, even if it turns your stomach a few times. Space X has revealed a Japanese artist will be their first tourist in 2023 aboard the Big Falcon Spaceship. He’s paying the fare for six of his friends to join him.
Branson says he has about 700 billionaires and celebrities already lining up to buy tickets. By Anderson’s estimate, the company will need to invest in roughly 350 barf bags.