Space Tourists Willing to Risk Their Lives
Universe Today, June 21, 2004
Summary – (Jun 21, 2004) Want to go to space? Well, you’re not alone. More than 100 potential space tourists have put their money on the line, and have set aside a $10,000 deposit with Space Adventures so they can be one of the first to head up on a suborbital flight. The company recently did a survey with these clients to find out how much risk they’d be willing to take; 69% would be on the first flight of SpaceShipOne, regardless of the danger. The first flights on a suborbital spacecraft like SpaceShipOne are going to cost more than $100,000 initially, but prices should come down in the coming years.
Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today the results of an informal survey of the over 100 people who have paid deposits to fly on a suborbital vehicle.
The survey was conducted exclusively with individuals who have paid at least a $10,000 (USD) deposit for the flight that will ultimately cost $102,000 (USD). Results from the survey that was administered on June 15 -17, 2004 include:
Would you be willing to fly on SpaceShipOne if a seat were made available on the first flight?
69% I’d be on the first flight
19% Not the first flight, but one soon after
12% I’d like to see a few more flights first
What is the biggest reason that you have decided to take a suborbital flight?
46% To see Earth from space
18% Uniqueness of experience
17% Want to participate in space exploration
12% Want to be part of an exclusive club
7% Want to experience weightlessness
Do you want the suborbital spaceship in which you fly to be of a similar design to SpaceShipOne?
72% Yes, it’s a great design
12% No, I’d prefer to fly in rocket that takes off vertically
9% No, it needs more room inside
How many suborbital flights do you plan on taking?
51% At least one more (after the first flight)
19% Ask me after the first one
16% Several more
14% Only one
Where would you prefer to have the suborbital spaceport located?
53% Doesn’t matter, just want to fly
“My father told me in 1957, as we watched the first Sputnik in the sky; that I would go into space one day. I was only very young, but I clearly remember sitting on my Dad’s shoulders and how important that night was,” said Pam Scott, future suborbital spaceflight client, Australia. “He has since passed, but I want his prediction to come true and I am sure he continuing to guide me.”
“Suborbital spaceflight for me would be a dream come true,” said Per Wimmer, future suborbital spaceflight client, United Kingdom. “It would be the ultimate adventure, to not only be one of the first suborbital spaceflight passengers, but to also be apart of opening the space frontier to commercial travel. What was once a far-fetched vision is now becoming a reality!”
Space Adventures is the marketing and experiences operation partner for several of the leading space vehicle manufacturing companies and is the only company currently accepting deposits from suborbital clients, currently totaling over $2,000,000 (USD). Thus, making Space Adventures the world’s first “Spaceline” operator.
Space Adventures’ suborbital program will consist of a detailed four-day flight preparation and training experience. The highly focused and inspiring pre-flight agenda will familiarize each passenger with the flight program, critical vehicle systems, flight operations, zero gravity conditions, in-flight accelerations and space flight safety procedures. On launch day, flight specialists will assist the passengers in suiting up and guiding each through the final checklist. Each flight will be directed by both a skilled-pilot and a precise computer controlled system. As each vehicle reaches their maximum altitude, the rocket engines will shutdown and the passengers will experience up to five minutes of continuous weightlessness, all the while gazing at the vast blackness of space set against the blue horizon of the Earth below.
Space Adventures, the only U.S. company to have successfully launched private tourists to the International Space Station, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia with an office in Moscow, Russia. It offers a variety of programs such as Zero Gravity, MiG flights, cosmonaut training, space flight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin; shuttle astronauts Kathy Thomton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Nom Thagard, Sam Durrance and Byron Lichtenber; and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott.