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Space Travel Is Possible — For a Price

Space Travel Is Possible — For a Price
(Dollar Photo Club)

By Tuesday, 26 July 2016 07:00 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Stewart Lieberman is an accredited space agent. He is certified by Virgin Galactic to sell space tourism packages once travel to outer space is operational.

“You have to be medically fit and cleared by a doctor,” said Lieberman who completed five days of Virgin Galactic training at the Kennedy Space Center in New Mexico.

Only travelers between the ages of 18 and 80 years old are allowed.

“You can’t just board the space ship even if you have the money to pay for it,” said Leiberman who works as a travel agent with Protravel International.

That’s because two hour round trip flight can cause black outs from the intense pressure of acceleration on the way to traveling 63 miles away from the earth and circling it for three hours before gliding back to planet Earth.

Although the reality of space tourism is still a few years away, Virgin Galactic has reportedly published pricing at $250,000 per person but there has not been any commercial space travel yet.

“Currently, commercial space companies are operating under experimental permits, which means they cannot accept any paying passengers just yet,” said Eric Stallmer, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

Another space tourism company called XCOR has already sold some 150 advance tickets.

“We operate with re-usable engines, low toxicity fuel and our space craft has stop and start capabilities like a commercial aircraft so you can fly multiple times a day from an authorized spaceport,” said Jay Gibson, CEO of XCOR, a developer and producer of highly re-usable rocket engines and spacecraft.

The ride is an approximate 40 minutes on their Lynx space craft and Gibson estimates the $150,000 space ride for all the people who currently have paid up to $75,000 in advance as a deposit could be completed in one year once the first commercial flight is launched.

No scheduled dates for first flights are set yet but there’s steady interest.

“We are closer to being finished than we have ever been in developing, building and flying our first prototype,” Gibson said.

The obstacles are largely technical. A Virgin Galactic commercial test flight crashed over the Mojave Desert in California last year.

“There have been several setbacks that companies have had to overcome but I think that in the next two to five years we will see a lot of exciting progress in the space tourism sector,” said Stallmer, whose member companies include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers.

While companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin will carry multiple space tourists on each flight, XCOR only accommodates one passenger who is required to wear a pressure suit.

 “One of the remaining challenges is getting licenses from the FAA Office of Space Transportation,” Stallmer said. “The process is long and extremely detailed so companies need to establish communications with the FAA office early on to ensure that their commercial operations can start.”

Juliette Fairley is an author, lecturer and TV host based in New York. To read more of her work, Click Here Now.

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Although the reality of space tourism is still a few years away, Virgin Galactic has reportedly published pricing at $250,000 per person but there has not been any commercial space travel yet.
space, travel, price, rockets
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 07:00 AM
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