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SPACE Enthusiasts

My Trip In Space



The concept of space tourists making into low earth orbit is changing fast, thanks to global interest in building spaceports around the world. Today, we have space travel agencies that will book your flight in the amazing race to space (for tourists, that is).

Because of the anticipated revenue in the billions of dollars by the year 2020, spaceports are being built by many nations with a promise of the share of some of these very high end tourist dollars.

Spaceports Plans on the Anvil

With the rising interest of space tourism, it is no surprise that numerous spaceports around the world are springing up. Presently, more than a dozen spaceports are being built. Many more are being retooled to accommodate bigger aircraft to carry more people.

In the United States alone, several spaceports are being built or proposed to be built, including Spaceport America, New Mexico; Mojave Spaceport, California; Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Virginia; Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska; Oklahoma Spaceport, Oklahoma; Corn Ranch Spaceport, Texas; and Cecil Field Spaceport, Jacksonville, Florida.

Outside the United States, many plans are proposed for the construction or redevelopment of spaceports including Ras Al Khaimah spaceport near Dubai and Vostochny cosmodrome, Uglegorsk, Russia. Many other countries are proposing building spaceports, including Japan, French Guiana, Sweden, Algeria, Australia, India, Israel, Singapore, among others.

Baikonur Spaceport, Kazakhstan, is credited with sending the first tourists to the International Space Station (ISS). So far, it has sent seven tourists to space. Baikonur Spaceport does not have a runway, as it was designed for vertical takeoffs and landings. America's Space Adventures is the only company to have sent tourists to space in partnership with Russia from the Baikonur Spaceport.

Some of the spaceports being built such as Spaceport America are paying attention not only to high tech but being green as well. Having a low carbon footprint in the race to suborbital space is important to many, so alternative building materials are being used along with renewable energy sources such as solar.
In addition, the spaceports being built will have to accommodate both vertical launch spacecraft and horizontal spaceplanes. Spaceport America has a two-mile long runway that is designed for safe takeoffs and landings of spaceplanes and other types of spacecraft that will fly or glide back from LEO.

Suborbital Space Tourism

To make space travel convenient and less expensive for regular tourists to bear, suborbital space tourism was proposed several years back. Thus the next round of space tourism flights will not go to the ISS but rather into low Earth orbit (LEO) 60 miles high. Suborbital space flights will likely and cost about $90,000 to $300,000.

This has encouraged dozens of companies in the commercial space industry to work on their aircraft and/or spacecraft in their bid to send commercial space tourists into the LEO soon. Some of these companies include Space Adventures, Virgin Galactic, RocketShip Tours, Armadillo Aerospace, XCOR Aerospace, Starchaser, Blue Origin, among others. Tourists will experience true weightlessness on zero gravity flights and float, slide, and soar just inside orbital space. This will also afford them the opportunity to observe earth's curvature and amazing star-gazing.




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