Good Evening fellow earthlings,
Hope you are all doing well this post is all about Space as you probably guessed from the title. After the exciting news with the discovery of the new solar system TRAPPIST-1 with 7 Earth-Size Planets I think it’s time for us ‘earthlings’ to get a little bit more familiar with our solar system.
All the planets discovered are roughly the size of earth and have been reported to possibly hold life. These planets would make a great setting for a sci-fi film and as a fan myself the thought is pretty cool.
This poster was released by NASA to promote Space Tourism and it looks like it has been hand-picked straight out of an old sci-fi movie.
The even more exciting news is that the UK may become the world’s leader of Space Tourism. For a travel nerd that is so exciting! The UK Government announced the £10 million scheme to incentivise the commercial spaceflight market.
This legislation of course will have its boring bits but of course space travel isn’t exactly expected to be straight forward, I mean we all know that right? There will need to be licenses for these flights, launch zones that will need restrictions, some serious insurance, the training of some wonderful astronauts and all safety requirements.
The launch zones that are being looked into are shown on the map below and it is incredible that this is all looking as more of a reality:
Now when we think of these Spaceflight ports one company that springs into mind which will be the head honcho is Virgin Galactic. The absolute genius entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson launched Virgin Galactic to be the world’s first spaceline was founded in 2004 and the whole ethos of this company is that only 558 people have been to space and now Virgin are opening up space to the rest of us…
…well I mean if you have $250,000 (approx. £200,700) to spare for a seat to space and membership of the Future Astronaut community and this is to be paid up-front as deposit. Now of course there is no way on this earth that I could afford that but you can sign up to their ‘mission updates’ which I think is a great idea and you can do the same from their website (http://www.virgingalactic.com/human-spaceflight/fly-with-us/mission-updates/).
Virgin Galactic currently are operating from the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport in New Mexico and the spaceport itself was designed to fit in with the desert surrounding and the inside helps the astronauts prepare for their journey.
Not only are Virgin Galactic getting their teeth into this new tourism but their is also XCOR Space Exhibitions working with partners such as KLM & Heineken. They offer 6 programs: The Pioneer, the Founder Astronaut (sold out), the Future Astronaut, the Advanced, the Iconic and the Rookie Astronaut program.
The Pioneer Program costs $150,000 paying 50% upfront. The Founder Astronaut which is already sold out with the likes of Bob Geldof already signed up. The Future Astronaut Program costs $75,000 within 7 days of signing the contract and $75,000 remaining to be paid 3 months prior to your flight. The Advanced is a full payment of $185,000, the Iconic is a full payment of $235,000. Then we have the Rookie Astronaut Program where you can secure your place for just $20,000, paying the rest of your $150,000 3 month before your flight.
Departing from the Mojave Air and Space Port just a quick 2 hour drive from Los Angeles, so on your road trip across America why not end it flying into space?
Check out XCOR’s website for even more information (http://spaceexpeditions.xcor.com/the-spaceflight/space-programs/) but there is plenty of choice for you to go for…not quite in my price range but I really look forward to seeing the future of this industry and seeing these journeys all over social media.
Just think this could be you and your friend getting ready for your girly holiday to Space…
Look out for the Spaceflight Bill mentioning that the UK spaceports will be able to enable the launch of small satellites from the UK, sub-orbital space flights and scientific experiments. The first space flights from the UK are said to be as early as 2020. Keep your eyes peeled on this bill as the draft bill was released 3 days ago.
The industry is set to be worth £25 billion over the next 20 years but I would like to hear your opinions in the comments on whether this is realistic and if you are as excited as me?
Thank you for reading,
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Now to Infinity and Beyond!!