Space Tourism: Good for you Greg

When I started this blog, these are the kinds of topics I had in mind. In October, an entrepreneur from The Garden State named Greg Olsen will become the third paying passenger on the International Space Station. He’ll get a front row seat to the best views money can buy on a 10 day trip into Low Earth Orbit. (LEO)

Although he claims he’s going up to there to do science with his company’s equipment and has even tried to avoid the “space tourist” label, we all know why he’s really going…. space is cool! Who doesn’t want to go into space? It’s O.K. Greg, enjoy the ride, you’ve obviously earned it. There’s nothing wrong with paying for it. Tell us what it’s like to be weightless when you get back.

Ever since I saw that scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The one on the inside of the rotating wheel space station. With the red, art-deco chairs and the white walls. And the video phone. Ever since then, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of space tourism. Everyone wants to be a cowboy or an astronaut when they’re a kid. But most never live those fantasies. I’ll never be a pilot or a scientist. The only opportunity I’ll get would be to pay my way into space.

In a sense, space tourism has already started. You can easily pay for a trip in a jet that will take you to the edge of space. You’ll see the curvature of the earth and the black sky. But that’s not the dream. We need to get to LEO. A week’s stay in an orbiting structure.

The Xprize is won and the idea of orbital space tourism is currently enjoying a surge of visibility in the public’s eye. Sir Richard Branson seems set on getting his Virgin Galactic company off the ground. Going to a space hotel is becoming accepted as feasible and the knee-jerk reaction to this type of paying adventure is almost gone. Hopefully Wall Street is right there with me. Once the market is discovered, it’ll grow large and fast. I promise. This a great time.

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