If you’re even remotely interested in what it might be like to be a space tourist in the near future, then you ought to shift your attention to a space company called Blue Origin. They’re basing much of their current endeavors on building luxurious space tourist capsules that can be launched atop a reusable rocket, and the first space tourists may be launched as soon as 2018.
You might know the company from the headlines for their famous New Shepard rocket, which launched and landed several times in 2016, even during a test of the emergency evacuation system from one of the company’s space travel capsules in which the chances of landing the rocket successfully were very low to begin with.
Blue Origin is now showing off the interior of one of their unique space tourist capsules, which would enter space for a short period of time to give its passengers the feeling of weightlessness before returning back to Earth and being recovered by recovery teams similarly to the way astronaut capsules return to Earth after being expelled from the International Space Station.
Image Credit: Blue Origin
Of course, the space tourists won’t go very far, and the weightlessness would only last a few minutes before the capsule would hurdle back towards Earth.
On the inside of the capsule, there are six reclining chairs and each one has its own super-sized window that gives the passenger a front-row seat to enjoy the view. Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos is so proud of these windows that he cites them as “the largest windows ever in space.”
At the center of the capsule is a special emergency booster rocket that helps guide the capsule away from Blue Origin’s launch rocket in case of any catastrophic failure. This system is intended to ensure the safety of its passengers, even in a case where the rocket underneath the capsule blows up.
The outside of the capsule looks very similar to just about any other modern space capsule apart from the fact that it has much larger windows. SpaceX has a similar capsule that’s designed to be used for International Space Station astronauts, but the windows on it aren’t as large as Blue Origin’s capsule and the interior isn’t as luxurious.
While space tourism isn’t quite here yet, it’s certainly getting closer. SpaceX announced that two anonymous space tourists purchased a flight to the Moon and back inside of a Dragon capsule that’s scheduled to launch in 2018, the same year that Blue Origin hopes to send space tourists into space in its own capsule.
It should be interesting to see who gets to go into space first, but one thing we do know is that it will be reserved for the wealthy, as the cost for a ticket for space tourism isn’t expected to be touchable by the working class.
Source: The Verge