Daily Archives: April 2nd, 2008

Space Tourism Race To Heat Up

In the world of the Blogosphere, especially in the virtual circles I travel in, space travel other than clandestine government programs, UFOs and other forms of esoterica, gets very little notice. Being the eclectic individual I am however, I have taken quite an interest in the nascent private space industry. Although I have written about conspiracy theories concerning total world domination by the One World Order and the elitist control of the world’s banking industry by the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, I find that competition among the companies that are poised to take the thunder from NASA, ESA and other government funded space programs a happy anomaly.

Take this little item from the Times Online in the UK for example:

Get ready for an out-of-this-world price war. In the same way that low-cost airlines slashed the price of flying, a new type of aircraft is promising to bring the price of off-world travel within the reach of the merely well-off, as opposed to the super-rich.

The Lynx is a reusable rocket-powered “space taxi” that can take off from normal airports and blast its way nearly 40 miles into space. Reaching twice the speed of sound during the ascent, the Lynx’s single passenger will get a bird’s-eye view of the planet and experience weightlessness before gliding back down to Earth.

While the estimated $100,000 (£50,000) fare may sound sky-high, it’s just half the amount charged by Virgin Galactic for a flight aboard its larger SpaceShipTwo vehicle, which will carry six passengers at a time.

The two-seater Lynx, unveiled last week, will be about the size of a small private jet and will use liquid fuel rockets, making it easy to refuel and reuse. Xcor, its US maker, aims to have it in operation by 2010, flying several half-hour voyages every day.

Now this isn’t the Google Lunar X-Prize to put the first privately made space probe on the Moon, but one can’t help be hopeful about how this space tourism thing is starting to flesh itself out. And not one single flight has taken off the ground yet!

Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve never been a hell-raising capitalist by any stretch of the mind, but after seeing NASA trip over it’s own feet for thirty-some-odd-years and the current apathy of young people today, I find myself drinking the ‘kool-aid’ at the altars of Branson, Musk and Bezos.

Is this futile and too much to hope? Or is there the possibility that Mankind (or a version thereof) will become a multi-planet species and at least have the longevity of the dinosaurs?

What’s your favorite flavor of ‘kool-aid’?