By Annie O’Halloran, Staff Member
There have been many memorable moments in space: Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, Apollo 13, and finding planets beyond our solar system. The year 2013-2014 is starting a new era in space – space tourism. Space tourism is allowing celebrities, scientists, entrepreneurs, and others to ride in a spaceship and enjoy zero gravity before returning again to Earth. Created by Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, the first trip to space with Richard Branson and his two adult children, will be filmed and aired on NBC next August. The entire trip is around three hours; however space travelers will be in space and experience zero gravity for only a short amount of time.
The Virgin Galactic space tour costs around $200,000, and Virgin Galactic has made over $80 million from around 640 customers. The company is also expecting bitcoins, a digital, futuristic payment. Bitcoins are not connected to any specific nation or government. So far, a flight attendant from Hawaii has registered for her space travel with Virgin Galactic with bitcoins.
Many celebrities have signed up for this, including Ashton Kutcher (he bought the 500th ticket), Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt, Beyonce, Tom Hanks, Russell Brand and Justin Bieber. Lady Gaga has announced that she wants to be the first singer to “space-sing.” She plans to sing one track while in zero gravity, and her flight will take place in 2015 during the Zero G Colony high-tech music festival in New Mexico and plans are even being made to customize her space suit. However Justin Bieber and Beyonce both bought their tickets early, and each wants to be the first to space-sing and even make a music video.
Space travel can also have negative effects on the stars and other elites including disorientation, vomiting, and drowsiness. All space travelers will have to prepare for the launch and trip by participating in three days of medical checks and training, which will help get stars used to zero gravity. There are infinite problems that could occur, especially when 6 passengers and 2 pilots are crammed into a spaceship.
With the new elitism, space travel, it is unknown what can happen next or what this will lead to. Already, celebrities want to sing, perform, and create music videos, and with great scientists like Stephen Hawking, new inspirations are sure to spark high-tech and futuristic ideas. Virgin Galactic is starting a new era, and although it is unknown what will come, we can certainly expect something outstanding and innovative.