Would you pay to go into space?
Since the mock-up of the cabin of the Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two (pictured) which was put on display at the Science Museum in London on February 14 2007, it has suddenly struck the world that very soon you wont have to be an astronaught to fly in to outerspace. The only question is: how much would you be prepared to pay for the experience?
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin is still taking deposits of $100,000 – $175,000 from travellers who want to go in the first year. About a dozen of the aspiring astronauts, described as “idealists who dreamed as kids of going into space” gathered late November on Necker Island, the private island owned by Branson in the British Virgin Islands.
Virgin Galactic must find out before blast-off how people in their 50s, 60s and 70s (those most able to afford it), can cope with the stress of space travel. “To be commercial viable and safe, we need data on the way people react to g forces and the psychological experience of going into space. We don’t know that yet,” says Alex Tai, Galactic’s chief of operations Ã¢â‚¬â€ and the man who will pilot first Virgin’s first spaceship. One possibility is a ride in a centrifuge to see how passengers will react to the g forces. For now, however, there aren’t a lot of requirements other than deep pockets.
So, the question you have to ask yourself when Virgin Galactic launches in 2009: Do you feel rich enough to go into outerspace? We here at Liquidicity would love to get zero-gravitied, but might need a few more adword clicks, or wait for a Ryan-Air alternative.