Sunday, November 26, 2006
Launchpad To Space
Sunday afternoon was spent at home watching TV.
After Mega Cities on Discovery Channel, it was Space Launch from Inside by National Geographic.
Gregory Olsen, was the 3rd space tourist after Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth to have gone to space and spent 10 days in orbit, 3 days on the Russian spacecraft Soyuz and 7 days on the International Space Station. He is one lucky man!
At USD20 million, money really goes a long way... far, far away into space in his case.
That is really not far-fetched any longer, visitors who wish to go on a weightlessness flight will need to fork out between USD2,000.00 and USD4,000.00. Children can go on space camps for USD150 to USD200 too. Maybe affordable for my son when its ready.
And those with deeper pockets who may have spare change of about USD100,000.00 stashed away unused, you would want to go on a tour of a lifetime that is out of this world... literally at an altitude of 100 kilometres or 64 miles.
The amazing thing to me is, the routine space tours will be closer to realization in my lifetime as it is closer to home. In fact it is at home, here! The "launchpad" is being built as we speak... right in Singapore.
Spaceport Singapore is due to open and be operational by 2009. Being built on the eastern part of the island where Changi International Airport is now. Outstanding!
Imagine a country that is about 680 square kilometres and amongst the 20 smallest in the world, but with such a gigantic ambition where the sky... and beyond is the limit.
In collaboration with US Space Adventure, and funding partially by private sector and by Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince of Ras Al-Khaimah from UAE, it costs USD130 million dollars to build.
As for me and the many earth inhabitants, will be a visitor to the Spaceport terminal only. Maybe watch the Explorer M-55X shuttle take to flight. The rest is my limitless imagination.
On earth, I am contented to be touring the globe as most people do. It has been more than a year since my family and I travelled. Maybe it is time to take a break... take off from Changi to Turkey or Cyprus?