Virgin Galactic is to make space travel a viable option to many and iron out the safety concerns associated with venturing beyond the limits of the earth a British astronaut has told T3.
Praising the Sir Richard Branson backed project for its efforts in expanding the possibilities of space travel and helping pioneer space tourism, Helen Sharman, who was the first Briton in space back in 1991, has suggested the Virgin Galactic programme will break down the stigma and safety concerns associated with space travel.
“Space tourism has been beginning for a long time,” Sharman said in an exclusive interview with T3. “Ever since the 1960s when we got to the moon people have been talking about space tourism but it’s really now reached the point where it has become commonplace enough, it’s still expensive to book your ticket on Virgin but nonetheless a lot of people have that sort of money.”
Suggesting that it could take just a decade for Virgin Galactic to spark a series of spinoff and rival space tourism options, Sharman, who visited the Mir Space Station, said: “If you look ten years down the line when Richard Branson has done it a few time and he’s got the hang of the safety aspects, I think space tourism is going to be well within the reach of far more people.
“It’s really just a question of making people comfortable with the safety angle. At the moment we are still getting into space with rockets which require three or so G-Forces maximum but most people can cope with that. We have had some fairly elderly people in space already as astronauts and they have managed fine.”
Adding that the space tourism industry will rapidly increase in numbers and flight options, Sharman added: “This is something that people will aspire to do an you won’t just go up and back either, what’s even better is that you will soon be able to do a whole orbit of the earth and then we are talking space hotels.”
Do you consider space tourism and space flights the next big thing in luxury holiday experiences or a passing fad that are doomed to rapid failure and potential dangers? Let us know your thoughts via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.