Space Tourism is close. Become an Astronaut!
From 2013 Space Tourism will take off. Future Astronauts book now.
Soon you'll have the possibility to fly to 103km (338,000ft) and become an officially acknowledged astronaut. The Nasa criteria for astronauts is crossing the Karman Line at 100km. The smallest "space-ship" Xcor Lynx will take you there at an incredible speed. Today, suborbital space tourism is popular mainly thanks to the charismatic Virgin founder and marketing genius Sir Richard Branson and his "spaceline" Virgin Galactic. Branson will operate the SpaceShipTwo, designed and built by Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites. Less popular (mainly because of a much smaller marketing budget and less leverage as no huge company stands behind it) is the Scor Lynx space flight project. These two are the projects who will finally make it, along countless projects who went bankrupt or have been stopped, for example Rocketplane XP and EADS Astrium. Both projects - the SpaceShipTwo and Xcor Lynx - are developed and manufactures on Spaceport Mojave - very close to each other. The Xcor Lynx started years later - both projects will take off in 2013.
The Xcor Lynx has a huge advantage: Simplicity
But why is a project that started years later, produced by a much smaller company and with a fraction o the funding - and without the aim to bring the first suborbital space tourists to space - suddenly at eye level? The reason is simple: The Virgin Galactic project with the "mothership" WhiteKnightTwo and the SpaceShipTwo is extremely complex. The Xcor Lynx spaceship is a small rocket-powered spaceplane with four own rockets. The advantages are manifold: Cost and therefore space flight prizes for customers are cur in half. Massively increased safety as the Lynx is able to start the rocket again again at any time, and because simple is safe. And the Lynx is based on technology produced for the NASA.
The Xcor Lynx passenger will sit next to the pilot and enjoy the view through the huge canopy. The Lynx experience is much more personal, you have your own pilot and you are not one passenger out of six, sitting like bus passengers in the back with small windows.
And the advantage that Virgin Galactic had is gone also: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not allow the passengers to float. They'll have to keep the seat belts fastened.
Your Space Flight in the Xcor Lynx-"Spaceship"
The space flight experience in the Xcor Lynx is extremely impressive. The rocket engine is very powerful, you'll break the sound barrier and go supersonic in less than a minute after the take off. You'll rise at 75° (you'll have a better view) and with a constant push of 3g until you reach Mach 2.9. So it won't take you long to reach the 308,000ft (103,000m). The view up there in space is breathtaking, like from a satellite picture. You can clearly see the curvature of the Earth. The atmosphere around the Earth looks like a blue fog. And the sky above you is black, with countless stars, also during the day. Astronaut say this view is a life changing moment. You'll never forget this experience.