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This story originally appeared on Alto Nivel
The conquest of the human being through space began with the race of two powers, the United States and the USSR; first by sending artificial satellites, then living beings, and finally people. This competition took place in the context of the Cold War, but now it is very different. Given the decline in resources and interest from governments, the space race is a matter for millionaires and they open a new frontier: space tourism.
When did the general public get involved?
In the case of the John F. Kennedy Space Center , the idea for a visitor complex began in the early 1960s, when families traversed government restricted grounds at Cape Canaveral on Saturdays. The public was allowed to drive on Sunday afternoons in 1964. A temporary visitor complex was installed near the complex gate for bus tours that began in July 1966. A permanent visitor complex opened on August 1, 1967. It included two auditoriums, with capacity for 250 each, a snack bar, a souvenir sales area and a ticket counter. In one year, more than 834,000 people visited KSC. Attendance continued to grow and soon surpassed 1.5 million.
The Kennedy Space Center visitor complex continues to evolve with new attractions and exhibits. Since 1995, approximately $ 300,000 has been invested to provide visitors with surprising new ways to experience NASA history more closely. Current attractions include Apollo or Saturn V, the Shuttle Launch Experience, the home of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, and the Heroes & Legends attraction with the American Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Integration of the natural habitat
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, was established in 1963 and is made up of 140,000 hectares of salty and fresh swampy water, where you can find different animal species, such as turtles, alligators, manatees, fish, birds, among others. In the transfer to the NASA Kennedy Space facilities you will be able to contemplate these natural beauties.
There are other museums, one of them is the Houston Space Center, which opened in 1992 and receives approximately 1.1 million national and foreign visitors a year. It contains more than 400 space products, lunar rocks and samples brought from the Moon.
There is also the US Space Rocket Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama, where rockets, achievements and artifacts from the North American country’s space program are exhibited.
Space tourism, a science fiction theme that is now reality
Would you dare to get on a ship and travel through space? Currently, space travel is open to tourism, so private companies such as Blue Origin, Space X and Virgin Galactic are in the development of ships that can send passengers to a suborbital flight, in addition to considering it as the future of the industry.
At the moment, the journeys into space are revolutionizing the sector, which will provide the possibility for people to make a trip through private flights (for those who can pay for it and also have the physical and mental condition to do so) and observe our planet from another perspective.
It is important to mention that being a space tourist for an hour is different than going to the International Space Station (ISS) for days or even weeks; Well, this has already happened, space tourism has been going on for some time, but it has not been available to everyone. However, there are multiple terms, be it where you sleep, eat or how you transport yourself to the International Space Station.
We have the case of the American tycoon, Dennis Tito, who for pleasure made the first trip as a space tourist in history. In 2001, Tito paid approximately $ 20 million to the Russian Federal Space Agency, which included training, stay, and travel to the ISS.
Can anyone go to space?
The dream of many is to be able to know the space, however, it is not only a question of money, but it requires certain conditions.
For example, Blue Origin asks for these requirements for the space tourist:
- Be of age
- Measure between measuring between 152.4 and 193 centimeters in height and weighing between 50 and 101 kilo s
- Speak and understand the English language to follow the flight instructions
- Do not suffer from claustrophobia
- Climb the launch tower in less than 90 seconds, be able to put on the suit and fasten the seat harness on your own
- Being in the seat in a reclined position for between 40 and 90 minutes, without being able to go to the bathroom
These requirements imposed by this or other companies will not stop the demand for tickets. For example, Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s company , already has approximately 600 future bookings, each costing around $ 250,000.
For its part, according to the bidders of the auction, a ticket to travel to space with Jeff Bezos had a value of $ 28 million dollars and will last approximately 11 minutes for the suborbital space. It’s more than Blue Origin competition Virgin Galactic has sold their tickets for.
On the other hand, there are the orbital trips offered by Elon Musk’s SpaceX , which would give tourists the possibility of spending days in orbit around the Earth, even on the International Space Station. Although there is no exact knowledge of the financial details of the trip.
Don’t miss the third installment in this series, which will discuss the launch of the first billionaire to travel to space, Richard Branson, this July 11 in a space tourism format.