Sunday, October 2, 2011

Space Tourism Set to Launch in 2014

The Telegraph: A Formula One tycoon has teamed up with the Dutch airline, KLM, in a project which is set to rival Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

But his tickets, at £60,000 ($93,500) each will cost half the price and so far 35 people have signed up for missions which would leave from the Caribbean island of Curaçao, subject to regulatory approval.

Space Expedition Curaçao has been created by Michiel Mol, 42, the co-owner of the Force India Formula 1 motor racing team. He says his spacecraft will be capable of travelling at 14,000 mph. This would bring every city in the world within two hours, making weekends in the furthest-flung destinations a reality for those who can afford it.

Commercial space travel is already a reality with a handful of people having spent millions of pounds to join missions to fly to the International Space Station.

Mr Mol’s company’s website paints a colourful picture of what a space flight entails, describing how it will burst through the sound barrier within a minute. Two minutes later the craft will be going “faster than a speeding bullet”. When the spaceship reaches an altitude of 37 miles the engines are stitched off.

The spacecraft reaches its maximum height of 62 miles before gradually gliding back to earth at the end of an hour-long flight.


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