Lazy Researcher: Exploring Space–Space Vacations

Right now I’m reading this issue of National Geographic called Exploring Space that I just happened to see in the checkout line (and just happened to cost me more than double of what I’d been in line to buy). But it’s worth it. It has absolutely beautiful pictures for one thing. And for another I’ve barely read any of it, and I’m already learning so much!

First is, I want to go to space, for real. I love that I’m alive now, when private space exploration really seems to be a possibility. So many companies are trying to make space tourism a reality. Of course it’s extremely expensive.

The cheapest at the moment is to pay Richard Branson of “Virgin Galactic” $200,000 to blast up 45,000 feet into the Earth’s atmosphere, high enough to float around but not into actual orbit and then come back down. 500 tickets have been purchased, and there’s a spaceport and everything in New Mexico. They said flights may start as early as next year. Fun, but I’d much rather go to real space.

That would only cost me, oh, $150 million.

For that, Space Adventures is going to take two lucky million/billionaires on a trip around the moon and back. Maybe it’s like their start-up cost–the privilege of being first? And someday it will be more affordable. And I want to know, how much to actually land on the moon?

There are also plans for space hotels in what sound like giant balloons/space stations. They have the hotels made, I guess, but are just waiting for the spaceship that can take them up there. I’d stay.

Space really is sounding like a new frontier–like new Christopher Colombuses and Captain Cooks and other explorers whose names I don’t remember can be setting out soon to explore and bring settlers just like the Europeans colonized the Americas and how American explorers ventured westward. You don’t even have to be a scientist with some fancy skill. You can just be a normal guy or girl looking for adventure.

I’d love to hear what you think about all this. Would you go up into space if you could?

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