Tag: Space Travel

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'Space Race' is One Reality Show You'll Want to Watch

October 8, 2013 at 9:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

You know we like to follow the goings on of Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic project, and now we’ll be able to do from the comfort of our couch. Virgin Galactic is teaming up with the mastermind behind shows like Survivor and The Voice—Mark Burnett—to launch a reality show to give away a ride into space.

Details are limited at this point, but we’d imagine that things would follow the basic premise of pretty much all reality shows. Unique personalities, wacky competitions, and plenty of drama should lead to a show worthy of a spot on our DVR. We do know that the show will be called "Space Race," and the big winner will get a ride aboard SpaceShipTwo.

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NASA's Space Shuttle-Carrying Boeing 747 to Open for Tours in 2015

September 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

Houston has a problem.

Or, rather, Houston had a problem, as their bitterness from being passed over when NASA handed out Space Shuttles may be staunched by the delivery of the special 747 carrier plane instead.

Okay, so the home of Mission Control will likely never heal from the pain of the Shuttle decision, but a consolation prize does mean the city's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center will have something other than laboratories, training rooms and the mission control center to show off to visitors. According to Space.com, the modified 747 "Shuttle Carrier Aircraft" will be disassembled with Boeing's help, shipped to Houston, and reassembled within a brand new, $12 million, six-story building at Space Center Houston, adjacent to Johnson Space Center.

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The Best Places for Viewing Tonight's Perseid Meteor Shower

August 12, 2013 at 1:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tonight, between 10:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. local time, those in areas away from light pollution and heavy cloud cover will be able to observe some 60-100 meteors streaking across the sky as the annual Perseid Meteor Shower hits its peak. According to NASA, you'll want to look straight up and budget for the extra time it'll take for your eyes to adjust.

Wondering where is the best place to view the celestial event? Here's a few ideas from our recent travels:

· On an airplane!: Just as the Northern Lights are visible from airplanes in flight, so too are meteor showers. After all, in a major jet aircraft you fly above the clouds and, at night, the crew typically turns off the cabin lights. Even @BritishAirways is encouraging travelers tonight to keep their windowshades up—talk about in-flight entertainment!

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Head to the Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico for a Tour of Spaceport America

August 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's crazy to think that Spaceport America, the middle-of-nowhere New Mexico base for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, has already been open for just over two years. We may not yet have regular flights to space, but while that day grows nearer the public is very welcome to come have a look around.

The Spaceport, located in the Chihuahuan Desert 150 miles south of Albuquerque, actually offers public tours aimed at "giving guests an up close look at the spaceflight facilities before operations begin." The tours have grown so popular that the tour operators, Follow The Sun Inc., have changed the pick-up point to a more central location (The Holiday Inn, with free breakfast!) in the hot springs town of Truth or Consequences.

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Virgin Galactic Zooms through 'Cold Flow' Test to Inch Closer to Space

April 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

We haven’t heard that much from Virgin Galactic recently, but that doesn’t mean the space ship team hasn’t been hard at work behind the scenes. They’re still doing their very best to ensure that space tourism becomes a reality sooner than later. That’s definitely good, since from what it sounds like, the space flight carrier already has more than a few customers on the books and ready to go.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two just finished its latest round of testing, and thankfully things all went according to plan. The latest aerial endeavor was known as a "cold flow” test. They haven't lit the rocket engines on this sucker just yet, but it means they've completed pretty much everything else—so that means they’re ready for the next step. The ship’s contrail was even visible for the first time, so now we know how awesome the thing will look like when it blasts away from earth.

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Awesome Contest Alert: Win a $95,000 Space Flight from KLM

April 11, 2013 at 4:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

On April 22, KLM will launch a high-altitude balloon from the Nevada desert. It's all Felix Baumgartner-style, but instead of a capsule containing a person, the balloon will instead lift a capsule containing a ticket to space...to be won by you.

Enter to win on their official site, but give yourself a couple minutes to complete the process. Just as with space flight, it's not as simple as it seems.

First, there's a snazzy intro animation to the entire project, after which you must predict the max height the balloon will reach and how far it will travel from its launch point. We just did it, and there's no point in keeping your choice a secret since each altitude & drift combination is unique. As in, no one else can choose your same altitude & drift guess. If the balloon comes closest to that bit of space you've virtually claimed, then you win the Grand Prize of a flight to space on the SXC Lynx, a trip worth $95,000.

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Europe Joins the 'Vomit Comet' Game as Zero-G Flights Begin

Where: France
March 18, 2013 at 10:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’re all about in-flight comfort—from fine wining and dining to the latest in sleeper suites, it's all of interest to us, and of course we want to try it. However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in something a little more adventurous when climbing aboard an aircraft. That’s why we’re pretty intrigued about the Zero-G flights now available to the paying public over in Europe.

You’ve probably heard of the “Vomit Comet” before, as aircraft flying wild courses to experience reduced gravity is hardly a new concept. Space agencies have been using airplanes for years to simulate varying degrees of weightlessness, but you no longer need to be an astronaut to climb aboard. Trips like this have been available in the United States and Russia, but this is the first time these kinds of flights have been open to one and all in Europe.

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A Visit to Arizona's Barringer Crater, AKA the Best Preserved Meteor Site in the World

March 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Know what's cool? Space. Know what's even cooler? When things floating around in the vastness of space come pay a visit to earth. Ok, that's only cool when it happens thousands of years ago and doesn't hurt anyone. Luckily for us, that's exactly what happened near Winslow, Arizona 50,000+ years ago.

Formerly known as "Canyon Diablo Crater," this meteor crater, now known as the "Barringer Crater," is said to be the world's (that's right, world's) first proven and best preserved meteor crater. It's so well preserved that NASA used it in the '60s to train astronauts preparing for Apollo missions to Earth's moon. They did this because the crater very closely matches those found on the moon.

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Russia Meteor Tourism Now Becoming a Thing

March 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

A Russian region once shunned as the site of the world's third-worst-ever nuclear disaster, in which hundreds of people were killed, has now become a potential tourist destination because it was hit by a giant space rock that injured thousands of additional people. The local tourism board is actually talking about making parts of the territory into a "Meteor Disneyland," a reference to last month's Russian meteor.

That's it.

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How to Get Tickets to Watch the SpaceX Rocket Blast Off from Kennedy Space Center

February 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

So they’re not exactly launching any space shuttles out of Florida anytime soon, but the Kennedy Space Center is still plenty busy these days. In fact they’ve got so much going on that they’d love to have you swing by and check things out for yourself.

The next piece of space stuff departing earth is the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and if things stay on schedule—and the weather cooperates—it’ll blast off on Friday, March 1. Those heading over to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex can score a front row seat for the event, with viewing right along the NASA Causeway.

If you’re looking to set a reminder on your phone, it’s all scheduled to go down up at 10:10am EST from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Russia's Meteor is Nothing Compared to Arizona's Hole in the Ground

February 18, 2013 at 3:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

That meteor doing its thing over—and into—Russia was kind of neat in a crazy kind of way, huh? Still, we’re pretty sure that we’d prefer that the space rocks stay out of the atmosphere for a bit. However, it's totally possible to check out some of the space stuff that’s made its way down to earth already, which is why we were intrigued to learn about one museum where you can safely check out some astronomical debris.

The best preserved meteorite impact site in the whole world is just outside Winslow, Arizona. The one mile across, 550-foot deep crater is yours for the checking out, as the site and museum are open between 8am and 5pm daily. It’s not just a huge hole in the ground—although it is that first and foremost—as they’ve got hunks of space junk on display as well. There’s a meteorite fragment that weighs a cool 1,400 pounds, and there’s plenty of space this and astronaut that. They’ve even got some training items on display from the Apollo space missions.

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Space Flight, Done Right: A Chat with SXC CEO Michiel Mol

January 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Space. The final frontier. Or, more likely, the next logical frontier for travel.

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Michiel Mol, Founder and CEO of Space Expedition Corporation (SXC), a Netherlands-based company pioneering affordable and sustainable commercial space flight.

Mol has dreamt of traveling to space for as long as he can remember and is a self-described nerd. It was at the age of 11 that he caught his first glimpse of space, through a telescope he built himself. In 1993 Mol and friends established Lost Boys, now known as LBI, to develop software. Getting in on that industry's frontier has thus paved his way towards this ultimate goal of breaching yet another.

SXCs first operational spacecraft, the Lynx (built by XCOR Aerospace), is due to perform its test flight from SXC’s Mojave spaceport as soon as April this year, marking SXC's first solid step towards the goal of rocketing willing, paying travelers nearly 65 miles up and into the blackness above Earth. A year of testing will then ensue, with the first commercial flights scheduled for the latter half of 2014. SXC-built spaceports at both Mojave, CA and Curaçao are also due to open in 2017.

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