The idea of a space tourist is not sounding so way out these days as it did when Dennis Tito became the first one. Now apparently the star of Phantom of the Opera, has added Sarah Brightman Space Tourist to her resume by paying a massive sum to Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) for a trip to the International Space Station. The financial figures for the space industry have always been mind boggling, that is until we started hearing about the current deficits… The figure has not been disclosed, but it is more than what NASA pays, which is $51 million, according to ABC News. She’s heading out sometime in 2014-2015.
I wonder how her voice will fare in zero gravity
I also wonder how the astronaut, who has to stay in space for a year instead of the usual six months, in order to make this possible for Sarah, will fare… I guess from their point of view it’s a chance to do more research on what the impact of long-term stays will have on crews. After all Mars is calling!
Ms. Brightman will only have a short trip, so she will not have to contend with the side effects that an extended time in space would bring. Charles Bolden (NASA Administrator) recalled the effects of zero gravity on his lower back when he spoke at a lecture I was at in Dublin. He said it was quite painful and that they slept in the fetal position to alleviate some of the pressure. He also mentioned motion sickness.
Sarah Brightman Space Tourist
I decided to check out the side effects to see what if any would effect our intrepid space tourist and found an article by the peeps at Race to Mars. There is plenty of information and a really cool interactive graphic that shows what happens to the human body.
Although space travel looks easy on TV and in the movies, in reality it causes both short term and long term health problems for a spacecraft’s most delicate cargo: its crew. On Earth, gravity is a force our bodies have to work against, which keeps our cells, bones and muscles strong. Remove the force of gravity from the equation and over the duration of a long-term micro-gravity space flight, human bodies undergo dramatic changes. That’s why some experts feel artificial gravity will be necessary for the crew whenever possible during the Mars mission. Artificial gravity at even partial Earth-normal would help reduce the severity of some of the space-related health problems, and helps ensure the crew will arrive on Mars fit enough to carry out their duties there.
Have a look at the rest of the article to see what happens when gravity is not on hand.
When I think of myself as a possible space tourist, I’m not sure if my inner princess could handle the accommodation as things stand. I look forward to hearing Sarah Brightman Space Tourist stories upon her return. I do admire these pioneers that are paving the way to our future in space. The well-to-do individuals willing to fork out these large sums are contributing to those space programs providing this opportunity. However the price tag gives me pause when I think of the needs of people on earth who can barely survive. It is also true that we are really wrecking the planet. While my generation might not need to leave earth, future generations might, so they will need the skills and technology to do so.
Oh Gene Rodenberry, you put all these thoughts in my head!
What do you think of space tourism?