Another example of the exponential growth of science and technology….. space tourism predicted to be feasible by 2011. When I was a kid (which is about 20 years ago), space travel was seen fit in the plot of a futuristic sci-fi movie. The year used to be 2050 or some such. But definitely not 2011. However, if press reports are anything to go by, short tourist flights into space are expected to begin launching from the US by 2011 and from northern Sweden in 2012. Virgin Galactic, a UK based company operating in US and EU, has test-flown its twin mothership, WhiteKnight Two, on Dec 21, 2008. The spaceship will have two pilots and capacity to carry 6 passengers. They will be able to enjoy the ride to the very edge where Earth’s atmosphere ends and outer space begins.
The price per ticket is set to USD 200,000 or 153,000 Euros as of now but is estimated to lower over time. So in about 10 years (or less) from now, when you go to an airline website to buy an airticket, in addition to the ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ tabs, you will probably also see a tab with ‘space’ written on it. And maybe you will receive promotional offers for a honeymoon package in the outer space. I wonder, though, if there would be any ‘frequent flyers’ ….. only 140 miles to gain for couple hundred-thousand dollars!