Individual space travel has always been the topic of sci-fi fantasies, however in about two years, Virgin Atlantic is opening the gates for those fantasies to become realities, for the wealthy of course. The spaceship has a 6 or 7 passenger load, and will travel outside the earth’s atmosphere exposing riders to the feeling of weightlessness. This is truly exciting technology as only 400 or 500 people have visited space in the past 50 years.
“The goal of this program is to carry maybe thousands of people into space. So, it’s just a game changer. Everybody will know somebody who has been into space in the next 20 years,” said a Virign Atlantic employee. It seems that the advent of space tourism has become a reality and is starting in this present moment.
The first “purpose built, commercial spaceport” is located at a site in New Mexico that shares a no fly zone with an army base. The consistent weather conditions and use of military tracking equipment are a couple reasons why this is a great spot, but other reasons lie in the vast open spaces of the Mohave desert. In order to take off, the ship is carried down the runway and into the sky about 50000 feet by a specially made plane. The plane then releases the ship and its rockets propel it at 2500 mph out of the atmosphere. The plane is made of light and study carbon composite and its wings fold in on re-entry in order to create drag that creates stability and saves on weight and fuel costs.
Energy consumption is at the heart of most questions of innovative technology today, and it is no different with this new private spacecraft. Apparently because of its light weight, the amount of energy used is no different than a flight across the Atlantic, however, that is a lot of fuel for such a short trip with no purpose other than what we might call entertainment.
For this 200,000 dollar trip, passengers will see the purple glow of the atmosphere, hear the silence of space, and experience for 5-7 minutes the weightless feeling of no gravity. Also, passenger’s will experience a perspective on the earth that very few people in history have ever known, however, one that with the commercialization of space tourism, many will know in the future.
To read the full article go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12909071
Written by: Sergey Chikvashvili