Ticos Not Up To Space Flight
Travelling to space and looking at the Earth from far above has only
been dream for most. However, 285 people from 36 countries will soon
be making that dream a reality, like multimillionaire, Dennis Tito,
did in 2001, when be became the first "civilian" to leave the Earth
on the Russian Soyuz.
Although Costa Rica has one of the few travel agencies that passage
on the Space Ship Two can be purchased, not one Tico has yet come
forward to put down the us$20.000 deposit required.
The travel agency Terranova says it has not yet had a bite on the
For an initial ticket price of $200,000, Virgin Galactic passengers
will buy a 2.5-hour flight aboard SpaceShipTwo and launch from an
altitude of about 60,000 feet (18,288 meters), while buckled safely
in seats that recline flat after reaching suborbital space.
The air-launched SpaceShipTwo is designed to seat eight people - six
passengers and two pilots - and be hauled into launch position by
WhiteKnightTwo, a massive carrier craft currently under construction
by Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn said.
While the spacesuit designs are not yet final, they will likely be
equipped with personal data and image recorders to add to
SpaceShipTwo's in-cabin cameras, Whitehorn said.
The SpaceShipTwo craft will take off from the Mojave Spaceport in
California during testing. Spaceport America (formerly Southwest
Regional Spaceport), a us$200 million spaceport in New Mexico partly
funded by the state government, will become the permanent launch
site when commercial launches begin. A Spaceport Sweden is in
Seven vehicles have been ordered by Virgin Galactic. As of October
2007, only the first two have been named, the VSS (Virgin Space
Ship) Enterprise, and the VSS Voyager. Both are in development.
A proposed name for a third space ship, Columbia, is planned, and
other proposed space ship names such as Challenger, Atlantis and
Discovery are also in consideration; which are
former or current names of Space Shuttles.
Following 50–100 test flights, the first paying customers are
expected to fly aboard the craft in late 2009 or 2010.