Got $200K to spare? You should conisder a space tour
Less than two weeks ago, Virgin Galactic achieved its latest milestone yet – its space ship two (SS2), the world’s first ever commercial spaceship, successfully completed a ‘feathered’ test flight during re-entry.
On the 4th of May 2011, a whiteknight-2 carrier aircraft called the VMS-eve took off from a runway in California and carried along with it the SS2. At a desired altitude, the SS2 was released and the re-entry was done in a feathered mode where the tail section of the spaceship was rotated upwards at a 65 degree angle to the fuselage. It remained in this configuration with the vehicle’s body at a level pitch for approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds whilst descending, almost vertically, slowed by the powerful shuttlecock-like drag.
The official website for Virgin Galactic also describes in detail the experience that they plan to give to each of the space tourists. The excerpt from their website is as follows:
“After two or three fabulous days of preparing with your crew – you’re suited up and you’re raring to go. The climb to 50,000 feet is marked with quiet contemplation but there’s an air of confidence and eager anticipation.
Then the countdown to release, a brief moment of quiet before a wave of unimaginable but controlled power surges through the craft. You are instantly pinned back into your seat, overwhelmed but enthralled by the howl of the rocket motor and the eye-watering acceleration which, as you watch the read-out, has you traveling in a matter of seconds, at almost 2500mph, over 3 times the speed of sound.
As you hurtle through the edges of the atmosphere, the large windows show the cobalt blue sky turning to mauve and indigo and finally to black. You’re on a high; this is really happening, you’re loving it and you’re coping well. You start to relax; but in an instant your senses are back on full alert, the world contained in your spaceship has completely transformed.
The rocket motor has been switched off and it is quiet. But it’s not just quiet, it’s QUIET. The silence of space is as awe inspiring as was the noise of the rocket just moments earlier. What’s really getting your senses screaming now though, is that the gravity which has dominated every movement you’ve made since the day you were born is not there any more. There is no up and no down and you’re out of your seat experiencing the freedom that even your dreams underestimated. After a graceful mid-space summersault you find yourself at a large window and what you see is a view that you’ve seen in countless images but the reality is so much more beautiful and provokes emotions that are strong but hard to define.
The blue map, curving into the black distance is familiar but has none of the usual marked boundaries. The incredibly narrow ribbon of atmosphere looks worryingly fragile. What you are looking at is the source of everything it means to be human, and it is home.”
You can read more on that at the Virgin Galactic official website.
So for all you space enthusiasts and adventurers out there with $200k to spare, now is a good time to book your very own ticket and be amongst the first few to experience the splendour of space first hand.
Pictures courtesy: Virgingalactic.com
Article courtesy : Aboutspace.info