The Jetsons-like space age view of the future is becoming closer to reality every day. Technologies like space stations, robots and missions to Mars are upon us. And the almost 50 years of human spaceflight have put us on the verge of a new era of space travel
European aerospace giant EADS
recently announced their plans to offer commercial flights into space by 2012. The voyage will total about an hour and a half (that’s Earth time) and features a show stopping 3-5 minute space float, when passengers will experience the thrill of weightlessness. All for a mere $267,000 per person. Or almost $3000 a minute.
Price includes an automatic window seat; only four passengers will be allowed per flight. No word yet on the food and drinks. The plane’s interior will be designed by Australian architect Marc Newson
, with special attention to the seats, likened to high-tech hammocks, and the windows, which will be much larger than the ones found on today’s commercial aircraft.
Passengers on the left side of the plane can see the Indian subcontinent, a bit cloudy down there today, while those on the right can peek a glimpse at the asteroid belt just beyond Mars.
EADS’ ambition, along with Richard Bronson’s Virgin Galactic
plans, shows just how close we are to regular jaunts into the famed final frontier. Hopefully it won’t be anything like Airplane II
2007 Jun 17
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