30Sep2015

Hotel/Space Package Price

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Vacation package includes 3 days, 2 nights (not including travel time) at premiere space resort for one person

Imagine out of a tiny porthole in one glance being able to see the continents of Africa, Europe, and North America–at the same time.

Yes we’re talking about real civilian space travel. And, imagine being able to cover your eye’s view of the planet Earth with one finger or being able to see the sun rise 15 times in one day, while completely circling the globe every 80 minutes.Well, for all those who have been patiently praying to soar through the solar system, 2013 might bring an end to the wait with the first flights for tourists to the edge of space.

Going for an easy US$200,000 a seat, Virgin Galactic, the same company that provides mobile phone service to millions, has already booked over 450 guests who have paid in full to explore the ‘lower portions’ of the galaxy.

Seats on his future Space-Ship and WhiteKnightTwo can be reserved directly with Virgin Galactic, or with the help of any of the 28 certified space travel agencies in North America. But Virgin Galactic isn’t the only company looking to give average citizens a tour of outer space, which technically begins 62 miles above sea level.

Scaled Composites / Virgin Galactic WhiteKnigh...

Scaled Composites / Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo “mother ship” VMS Eve at the rollout ceremony. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Companies such as Boeing, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems, are all committed to commercial space travel.

While no official date has been set for the first tourist flight to space, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have made test flights to space, and are in the final stages of safety reviews.

To date, seven civilian non-scientists have visited the suborbital space, all of them, such as American Microsoft software developer Charles Simonyi, paying $20 million dollars to catch flights on Russian crafts.

“When America landed on the Moon, I believe we made a promise and gave people a dream,” said Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, in testimony before the Senate advocating commercial space travel. “It seemed then that, given the normal course of technological evolution, someone who was not a billionaire, not an astronaut made of `The Right Stuff,’ but just a normal person, might one day see Earth from space.”

Virgin Galactic plans to offer one-day space trips a the end of three days of training at Spaceport America, the Sierra County, N.M.-based complex recently dedicated as the world’s first spaceport for commercial space travel.

But the intrepid traveller who wants a weekend in space may someday be able to consider booking space at the Galactic Suite Space Resort, the brainchild of Spanish architect Xavier Claramunt. His vision is to offer a vacation package that, after eight weeks of training, a three-night stay in a three-room suite contained in a pod parked in orbit 300 miles above Earth for a cool $4.4 million.

The hotel’s planning and future construction is to be funded in part by the Foundation for Space and Lunar Exploration (FEEL), which describes itself as a “private non-profit organization created to support the technological and industrial development” in Spain’s aerospace industry

Claramunt won’t identify other investors, but claims that the project, costing a total of $3 billion, has already secured backers who share his vision and enthusiasm for the prospects of the commercialization of space.

While exploring outer space may seem like the ultimate adventure, tourists are screened for mental and physical fitness before breaking through the atmosphere. Companies are required by law to disclose the down side of the journey including the fact that all trips to space carry the risk of fatality.

Guests would circumnavigate the globe every 80 minutes and see the sun rise 15 times a day. They would get around their “pod” rooms by wearing Velcro suits that stick them to the walls to enable them to crawl.

To keep tourists safe from radiation, space hotels, as well as and space lines taking tourists for a trip to the stars will have shields installed to block radiation poisoning, with maximum exposure to the elements in outer space not exceeding 10 weeks.

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) cleared the way to commercial space travel in large part when it contracted with private firms for missions to the ISS through the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. SpaceX, with an $850 million investment to haul cargo to the ISS and the training and development of commercial flight crews, on Feb. 7 will become the first commercial spaceline to actually dock to the ISS.

“Its a very exciting launch and its our first step in turning over the keys to provide supplies to the space station.” said Michael Braukus, of NASA’s Department of Human Exploration and Operations Mission.”This frees NASA to explore deep space missions.”

So, it’s not a stretch to imagine a day when a moon bounce is no longer just an inflatable backyard amusement. Source : AFRO

 

Why don’t we build spinning space ships to create artificial gravity?

There is a memorable scene in the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ where an astronaut is jogging around the inside perimeter of a ring-shaped space ship.

As the ship slowly rotates, the centrifugal force generated pushes all objects, including people, outwards away from the centre of rotation, mimicking the force of gravity.

“It would be similar to those rides in the showground where you stand in a circular room which starts to spin, and then the floor drops away,” says John Page, a senior lecturer in aero-space engineering at the University of NSW..

“You feel as if you are lying on the ground, but you are actually stuck to the wall.”

Page points out that having some form of artificial gravity on the space stations of the future would be a good idea, in order to avoid some awkward space moments.

“Firstly, there are the psychological effects – if you’re drifting in space, it’s quite difficult to know how to approach other individuals in an acceptable fashion. I mean, do you come up behind them or underneath them? It’s also quite difficult to look directly at someone if you are not anchored to one place.

“Gravity is also important for health reasons. If you’re living in a weightless condition, the calcium comes out of your bones, making them thinner. Anyone who is staying in space for a long time without artificial gravity needs to do vigorous exercise to avoid this.”

But while gravity has some big advantages in space, says Page, we shouldn’t expect a rotating space station any time soon.

“The smaller the space craft is, the faster it has to rotate, so if you’re going to generate gravity, it’s got to be done with a very large spacecraft that spins very slowly. The bigger the disk, the slower you can rotate it.

“This would avoid having a large gravitational difference between your head and your feet, which would result in blood accumulating at your feet and making you feel light headed.

“But at this stage, there’s no space craft on the drawing board big enough to do this. It would have to very large – much larger than a football field.

“The current space station is just the size of a small flat, really.

“If someone wanted to built a rotating space craft that generated its own gravity, you could do it. It all just comes down to cost and need. Then there are people who say ‘why bother’, because most of the experiments we want to do in space need to be done in weightlessness,” Page says. Source:  ABC Science

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