I haven’t found a price posted for this extravaganza, but Virgin Galactic wants $250,000 for their rocket flight. Maybe Space Perspectives can beat that.
You won’t get the weightless experience in a balloon. It’s not a lack of gravity that creates what we call zero-g (Earth’s gravity is plenty strong in orbit) it’s the free-fall experienced by a “vomit comet” or the International Space Station.
I’d love to contemplate the curvature of the Earth against black space while sipping my favorite adult beverage. Surely they’ll serve champagne, since you’ll have two hours to sober-up on the descent.
Space Perspective hopes that in a few years it’ll also be taking space tourists on six-hour sightseeing jaunts, with a refreshment bar and social media capabilities at hand.
[Two hour ascent, followed by a] leisurely two hours for passengers to enjoy the 360-degree views from the cabin before the spaceship makes its two-hour descent to the ocean, where it will splash down safely. Voyage to shore will be completed by ship.
Company wants to take tourists to the edge of space in a 6-hour balloon ride
Your suit for Mars may look like this
Over 500 people have made it into space. To join them, at least with NASA, the basic requirements aren’t that intimidating. It’s the competition that’s a killer.
NASA’s last class had over 18,300 applicants for 12 positions. Maybe you can apply more than once, since there’s no age requirement (applicants are typically between 26 to 46-years-old.) John Glenn was 77, though a lot of people thought being the first American to orbit the Earth and then a US Senator weighed into the decision to send him on a shuttle mission.
If you’re planning your future, here goes.
- NASA is part of the American government, so you need to be a US citizen
- You must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological or physical science, computer science, or math. Get working on your STEM courses
- Then accumulate three years of related professional experience or 1,000 hours of piloting
- Pass NASA’s long-duration astronaut physical
There are multiple parts to the physical. For example, you need 20/20 vision, although using glasses or LASIK surgery is okay. You also must fit into a spacesuit. With the snazzy new suits provided by SpaceX, maybe more body types will be accommodated than in the past.
NASA astronauts are required to pass military water survival training, pass a flying syllabus, and become SCUBA qualified, which includes a swim test. They also have to successfully complete training on the systems that run the International Space Station, extravehicular activity skills training for spacewalks, robotics skills training, and aircraft flight readiness training.
Thanks to quickanddirtytips for NASA’s list, but don’t despair. The Russians have suspended their tourist program, but maybe you can come up with the $250,000 ticket price for a short tourist hop with Virgin Galactic… sometime soon. Various startups will compete for your fare… sometime not quite as soon. Keep an eye on Elon Musk. He may offer a trip around the Moon or even to Mars. It wouldn’t hurt to make friends with a billionaire now so you’re ready.
The launch window for NASA’s next Mars rover opens in a month, on July 20th. Headed to a crater that once contained a liquid water lake, will it find biosignatures? That is, evidence of life? Before we worry about that, will it land safely? The curse of Mars still nibbles at my mind.