YOUR WILDEST SPACE EXPLORATION FANTASIES COULD BECOME REALITY BY THE TIME YOU’RE 50 SAYS FABRIZIO SCARDOVI
Holidays on the moon, moving house to Mars, the family car replaced by the family spacecraft, booking your space adventures online, scary aliens on earth and even scarier humans on other planets. Just how will the development of space research and travel affect our future?
By the time you’ve reached 50, scientists, researchers and designers could make all of the above possible. Space exploration is catching up fast with science fiction films such as Space Odyssey 2001, Bladerunner, the Fifth Flement and Alien.
Space tourism wouldn’t be tourism if it didn’t have attractions. It will bring bar staff, bankers and housewives into an amazing new world.
An American company in Huston called Lunar Development is planning walking tours of Apollo landing sites on the moon but you may have to wait a few years for this.
Zero-gravity sports are expected to really ’take off’. Versions of zero-gravity table-tennis, basketball and swimming pools will be the funniest. Water games and ball games will face the greatest revolution in the history of sports. The concept of swimming will change drastically. In a zero-gravity environment swimming pools will be just big blobs of water.
Designers and scientists are already visualising the idea of experimenting with gravity. Rotating swimming pools will be built where you can swim around the interior surface and then dive out to float in zero gravity. The latest news, airports will become spaceports.
Advertisements saying ’Fly Stansted airport to the moon for £2.000’ may be possible in travel agencies very soon. At present, the market is offering zero gravity flights for around £3,000. With an on line application form it is possible to book an ‘edge of space’ experience with a Mig 25 for around £8,000. Bargain!
More than 250 people have booked edge of space flights in the Zegraham cruiser (a reusable spacecraft made in Huston) for as little as £60.000 a seat. The company offers full astronaut training programs and a three hour sub-orbital flight plus three minutes of weightlessness (floating in space).
The Japanese Rocket Society believes that the price for a space trip will fall from £60.000 to £5,000 in the next 10 to 20 years. In 1996, the US Ex-price Foundation, announced that it would award 10 million dollars to the first team who were able to build and fly a re usable spacecraft capable of carrying three individuals to a height of at least 100km. By the year 2000. 16 teams had registered for the competition. The first flights are expected next year.
Ever fancied a five star stay in a hotel on the moon? A British architect, Peter Inston, who designed hotels for Hilton International, has developed an idea for a 5,000 rooms lunar complex. The hotel will be powered by solar energy and supplied with drinking water from lunar ice. Although at the moment orbital hotels (floating hotels in space) seem to be more convincing and cheaper. This is because it is easier to build hotels on earth and send them into orbit rather than build and maintain them on the moon.
A Japanese Company called Shimizu Corporation is also developing plans for a very big lunar accommodation site. Or if you’re more of a home bird, why not settle down in a space colony? On the moon, there is enough water to sustain you for hundreds of years.
Young people may well live to see the day when the first human colonies on Mars will breathe an artificial atmosphere created by a forest of genetically modified trees adapted to grow on the red planet.
This is jniy the start of the changes space research could bring about in years to come Try to imagine bab es born in zero gravity hospitals on the moon. Would they need legs and feet or would the, develop wings to make floating everywhere much quicker?
From the moon you can see the stars easier so maybe Exposure couid start sending our ‘Crystal Balls’ writers up to get more accurate horoscopes!
PHOTO CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA