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This is How You Can Travel in Space

24-Apr-2022

Yes, you can travel in space. Even if you’re 75 years old and have no experience. Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin will take you space. There’s a waiting list. But the price is less than €500,000. But who can go? Do you need to train? How long do you spend in space?

First we recommend reading our beginner’s guide to space travel. 

Unless you can spend more than $50 million on a holiday, a suborbital flight is how you can visit space. You go 100kms above the earth and experience weighlessness, but it’s not high enough to orbit the earth. So it’s a “suborbital” flight.

Right now your two options are with Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.

The Suborbital Space Experience

Do you need to train?

It’s a quick up-and-down to reach space and your only responsibility is to enjoy the experience. And try not to kick another passenger in the head when you’re weightless.

You must first complete three days of basic space training. You don’t fly the spacecraft and all the responsibility is with your space travel operator.

How many people do you fly with?

Six passengers fly in a capsule, which utilises reusable rockets and spacecraft to keep costs down. We believe it’s possible to charter a space capsule for your group.

How long is a suborbital space flight?

11 minutes. Blue Origin flights are fully automated, so it’s just six passengers with mission controllers on the ground. You rocket from the ground to space, so the journey really is only 11 minutes.

With Virgin Galactic the total journey is more like 90 minutes. In a carrier plane you first taxi on the runway then climb to 17 kilometres. When the capsule breaks free the flight is operated by two on-board astronauts. Parachutes should then keep you safe upon landing.

What will you see in space?

Blue Origin’s New Shephard spacecraft has large private viewing windows for each passenger, whereas windows on the Virgin Galactic fleet are more like normal aeroplane windows.

Both Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are experimenting with routes, like how to rotate the spacecraft 360 degrees so all passengers see Earth silhouetted against the black of space.

Suborbital Space Travel Tips

Flying into space is not the same as boarding an Airbus A380.

  • Get yourself fit. Your body will experience many new sensations so you should be in good physical and mental shape.
  • The g forces aren’t as severe as Hollywood makes out. But if your body is rigid it will hurt.
  • Practice weightlessness on a zero gravity flight, or better still, learn to scuba dive and control your position along the seafloor.
  • Make a plan for your 11 minutes. It’s not long. Forget about taking photos, that’s a waste of your precious time.

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Virgin Galactic Flight Costs & Availability

Virgin Galactic obtained a FAA licence and in February CEO Michael Collazier said “we remain on schedule to commence commercial service later this year.”

When fully operational, their spacecraft Eve and Unity will do one trip per month. A new spacecraft VSS Imagine should be in operation by late 2023, doing two trips per month. But with only six passengers per trip, it will take a few years to fly the 700 people who signed up in 2021 and paid $250,000 for the experience.

Virgin Galactic has reopened its waitlist and the new ticket price is $450,000, with an upfront seat deposit of $150,000. If all goes to schedule, 2026 is a realistic date for new ticket buyers. That’s the target date for Virgin Galactic operating a larger fleet of spacecraft.

Blue Origin Costs & Availability

 

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A timeframe for Blue Origin’s commercial flights is not yet available. Nor do we know the expected cost. It certainly won’t be included in a Prime membership.

We do know that the final seat on Blue Origin’s inaugural space flight was auctioned for $28 million. Bezos himself said that nearly $100 million of tickets for future passenger flights have been sold via private channels.

But as yet, you can’t sign up to fly on Blue Origin’s New Shepherd. They’re developing a bigger spacecraft as well, the New Glenn, which will have capacity for orbital flights. Again, details are thin on the ground. So watch this space…

Experiencing Space Travel on Earth

The Zero Gravity Corporation operates space simulation flights. For $8610 you fly weightless in a modified Boeing 727. You’re not in space but the weightlessness is real.

Or how about spending more than 11 minutes in a place that feels completely out of this world. Like the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan, the sand dunes of Oman, or even floating above Cappadocia in a hot air balloon?

If you want to travel in space we’ll help you do it. And for all your travels on planet earth we’re here as well.

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