Ticket sales for commercial space flights launched in Singapore

www.channelnewsasia.com | Friday, Aug 29, 2014

Ticket sales for commercial space flights launched in Singapore

US-based XCOR Space Expeditions, which develops commercial space shuttles, is launching the sale of tickets in Singapore in partnership with Luminox watches. (Photo: Faris Mokhtar)



This is the first time US-based XCOR Space Expeditions, which develops commercial space shuttles, is launching the sale of tickets in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: Flying into space is now within reach for Singaporeans who wish to do so - but the experience comes at a hefty price of S$100,000 for a ticket.

For that amount, passengers can experience a space shuttle takeoff and a view of the Earth. The total flight time will take about one hour including takeoff and landing. As the shuttle has only two seats, passengers get to play the role of a co-pilot, performing tasks such as navigation.

There is a prerequisite though - passengers need to be certified fit by a doctor. After that, the passenger will have to undergo a compulsory training programme in the Netherlands.

The training involves a one-of-a-kind advanced motion simulator called, "The Desdemona". It is specially designed to train deep space astronauts, it offers a graphically animated pre-experience of the flight, including the illusion of weightlessness.

Ascent into the edge of space will take just over three minutes and during the propulsion, the shuttle will accelerate at the speed of sound. After around five to six minutes in space, the shuttle will descend back to Earth.

This is the first time US-based XCOR Space Expeditions, which develops commercial space shuttles, is launching the sale of tickets in Singapore in partnership with Luminox watches.

By end 2015, the XCOR space shuttle is scheduled to make its first worldwide launch into space, from its spaceport in Curacao, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea.

WHO'S READY FOR LIFT-OFF?

Those Channel NewsAsia spoke to say they would not mind going for the trip if they had cash to spare.

"If I was a multi-millionaire, I wouldn't mind buying the ticket since it's a rare opportunity to view the Earth from outer space," said 17-year-old secondary school student Elliot Chow.

28-year-old Alvin Tam said, "There are no opportunities in the past to do this and so given the economy, and having the money to do it, I think, why not?"

A roadshow for the public starts on Friday (Aug 29) and will be held till next Friday at Shaw House in Orchard Road. Similar roadshows will be done in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Brunei within the next few weeks.

Ms Pamela Tan, Brand Manager of Luminox, said: "I think in Singapore, travel tourism or tourism in general is something that is very big and growing rapidly. And we know a lot of Singaporeans who are very, very adventurous, who love the whole adventure. And space tourism is going to be the next frontier for us, you and I, to be able to experience, and that's why we wanted to launch here in Singapore."

Source article : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/tick [...]