Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Having a Blast(off) Coming Soon

It will be in the 60s this week with lows dropping down into the lower 40s, and you know it won't be long before there will be frost on the pumpkin (and my nose as I ride my bike to work). Just when that first real chill of an upcoming winter whistles through my ears, I begin thinking and planning that next warm-weather vacation; and I suppose I am not alone.
Most people yearn to get away at times, and various flights of fancy are considered. For some, a domestic hot spot like Florida or Arizona might be nice. Other more worldly voyagers might think of someplace closer to the equator or farther west or east than the continental U.S. However, for the truly adventuresome, the new frontier in travel is really out of this world...really. out. of. this. world. Space travel for tourists is already a reality, and while the cost right now is somewhat prohibitive, you know the price will come down as the competition ratchets up.
Right now, a travel group called Excalibur Almaz, located on the Isle of Man (?) is offering a trip to a "gravity neutral point near the moon." That's some serious frequent flier miles. Of course, the cost of 150 million dollars might make even Zuckerberg flinch, and I hear the ice cream is powdery.
Want something less pricey? How about a trip for 12 days to the International Space Station? Space Adventures, located in Virginia will get you there...and seven people have gone thus far, but the 50 million dollar ticket is still a bit other-worldly for most of us.
Next year, though, Virgin Galactic, brainchild of Richard Branson of Virgin airlines plans to provide a two-hour adventure some sixty miles straight up in a craft he calls SpaceShipTwo to provide would-be Neil Armstrongs the opportunity to experience weightlessness for a full five minutes. OK, OK, it doesn't quite have the "Jetson-like" feel of the other two, but at a mere two hundred thousand dollars, it's a bargain. There's even an spaceport for such goings on, located in New Mexico (where else?) that aims to serve the next generation of explorers.
I wonder if there will be a fee for more than one bag.


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