How long until space travel is feasible for the average person?

This is a discussion on How long until space travel is feasible for the average person? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe...ace/index.html The gist of the article is, by 2008, Virgin plans to have a commercial space flight service. $200K will ...

  1. #1
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    How long until space travel is feasible for the average person?

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe...ace/index.html

    The gist of the article is, by 2008, Virgin plans to have a commercial space flight service. $200K will get you 3 days of flight training and a 2-3 hour flight into space, featuring a few minutes of actual weightlessness.

    Sounds cool, but the price tag is obviously out of the range of 99% of the people out there. My question is, how long until we see this being an almost commonplace thing? Flying from earth to the Space Mall to pick up the latest CD by the Venusians? Maybe not even that advanced; how long do you think it'll be until people can fly commercial spacecraft for less than the price of a house? Is this a step in the right direction?

    Also, let's talk about the space elevator, because that's awesome.

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    Never. It's too expensive, and there is nowhere to go.

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    You don't think the price'll ever come down?

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    Yes, my avatar is stolen anonytmouse's Avatar
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    You can experience zero-gravity now (News Story)

    You can (or could) see the curve of the earth from a concorde.

    Is combining the two experiences for ten times the cost worth it? Maybe people will go for the bragging rights.

    Affordable orbital(or beyond) space flight is still many years off.

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    Never. It's too expensive, and there is nowhere to go.
    A lot of people would've said the same thing when they first heard about commercial aviation. Although I do agree that right now there's nowhere to go, I don't think it'll be that way forever. Right now it would just be a cool experience, but once the technology gets a little further along and it's feasible to go to the moon, then you're really going somewhere.

    I'd give it about ten years before someone starts making serious efforts to bring the price down, but I'd say at least 15 before a lot of us will know someone who's gone.

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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Branson is toting a price of around 100,000 for a sub orbital hop. That is well within the budget of a great many wealthy people, and I expect, assuming there are no disasters along the way, that there will be good business to be had there.

    Rob Bigelow is launching the "son of" the X-Prize shortly, for the private development of orbital vehicles with on orbit docking facilities. His inflatable modules could be used to build orbiting hotels. There may not be anywhere to go now, but there will be, and I'd go tomorrow if I could aford it just for the view.

    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=979

    The space elevator is conceptually okay, but the materials and techniques required to build such a structure have pipe dream status at the moment.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    $200K
    lol, read that as 200$ first. wtf, 200$ too much for a trip into (outto?) space?
    MagosX.com

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    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    I'm building my own space elevator in my backyard. I plan to finish it by Q3 of 2009. I'm charging $49.99 for a one way trip. At the top is a packet of salt water taffy for each to enjoy.

    And the price will come down when something gets built on the moon.

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    One packet, or one apiece? Because I'm not licking taffy some dirty Russian might have touched.

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    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    One packet. There are 4.5 pieces in the packet. If I get more people, I'll produce more taffy. And yes, you have to share. Don't be last... GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sean_mackrory
    A lot of people would've said the same thing when they first heard about commercial aviation. Although I do agree that right now there's nowhere to go, I don't think it'll be that way forever. Right now it would just be a cool experience, but once the technology gets a little further along and it's feasible to go to the moon, then you're really going somewhere.

    I'd give it about ten years before someone starts making serious efforts to bring the price down, but I'd say at least 15 before a lot of us will know someone who's gone.
    yeh but at least there is a point to aviation, faster transport.

  12. #12
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    Just thought I'd put this here.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/0...cnn/index.html

    One more flight and they've got the X-Prize!

  13. #13
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    I tried to watch it but Ansari's servers were totally swamped. Just the odd snippets coming through.

    Certiainly not an "as planned" ascent, but probably good enough. Still some work to do there. It certainly didn't roll like that on the last flight.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    Both the aerodynamic changes and increased engine size could have accounted for that. I'm sure Rutan's smart enough to figure that out by the tiem they make the second flight.

    Is it true that he's never lost a test pilot?

  15. #15
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    You'd have thought that the uprated engine would have made the ship pitch rather then roll, but still, I'm sure he'll fix it. As it was, the report I read said Mike shut down the engine well early anyway, and they still got the height. I wonder if the mods they made were really necessary? It certainly didn't roll like that on the last flight, with the older engine - still made it, but I don't know how much ballast they were carrying that time.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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