“The principal aim of this Web site is to encourage other would-be commercial passenger astronauts to take the next step and to support the advancement of space technology. I believe that it’s crucial for humanity to shoot for the stars.
What an incredible era we live in, where you can buy a ticket into space. We’re at the start of the second great space race. Since the first space race in the 1960s many millions of people have dreamt about launching into space. Now, with the development of new technologies, commercial spacelines are going to be launching thousands of people into space over the next five years.
Let’s face it; not that much has happened in manned spaceflight exploration since Apollo 17’s Eugene Cernan last stepped off the moon on December 14th , 1972. So what happened to the reasonable expectations of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey ? Where are the space hotels and the moon bases? We’re over 20 years behind schedule!
Sure, sub-orbital space flights offer the thrill of a lifetime, something one can always treasure, but I believe there’s an even more important context to commercial space flights. I feel that we’re on the verge of an era where space tourism will open up a plethora of exciting new technologies, many we can’t yet imagine.
When I started working in the Internet industry back in 1994, few people would have predicted how far-reaching Internet technology would become and how significantly it would affect modern culture. There are now plans on the drawing board for space hotels, orbital flights, moon bases and trips to Mars. Over the next ten years there will be huge advances in energy systems, environmental systems, communication systems and new materials – so there are sure to be some major spin offs that will affect many areas of our lives. By booking a ticket into space, you’re not only investing in an experience of a lifetime, but also in the research and development of exciting new technologies.
In the same way that air travel has become more accessible, tickets into space will also greatly reduce in price. The first wave of space tourists paid around USD$20,000,000, the second wave are paying around USD$200,000 and the third and fourth waves of space tourists are likely to be paying significantly less.
I believe it’s paramount for humankind to establish sustainable long-term colonies in space, which will open up infinite resources and ease humanity’s burden on planet Earth. Virgin Galactic is playing a key historic role in helping to make this happen. I commend them and the many other space engineers and adventurers around the world reaching out to explore the ultimate realm.”
Mark Rocket, February 2007
View Mark Rocket’s Blog Posts at NZS.com.