To infinity and beyond
As childhood dreams of travelling to outer space come ever closer to becoming reality, 10-year-old junior journo rafferty laight asks kids about their ultimate cosmic holiday.
As dreams of outer space adventures come ever closer to reality, 10-year-old Rafferty Laight asks kids about their ultimate cosmic holiday.
Sir Richard Branson has always been a hero of mine. I mean, what’s not to like? He has bazillions of different interests, owns his own his airline, is super adventurous, gives heaps of his time and money to people less fortunate, fights for conservation, and he’s a billionaire to boot. I already thought he was the coolest guy on the planet when I found he might even be the coolest guy off the planet, because he plans on launching out-of-thisworld spaceflights with his company Virgin Galactic.
Sir Richard once said, “It is really important that kids spend as much time travelling and learning as possible, from a young age.” And while I’ve certainly done my best to follow his advice, travelling to 24 different countries already, now he’s gone and made me want to add other planets to my bucket list.
I mean, nobody loves Earth more than me and even though I’d like to explore every inch of it, I can only imagine how awesome seeing it all at once from space would be. And zooming through the pitch-black skies of outer space seeing planets as I explored the solar system would be epic. I could jump over the moon, enjoy a Martian meet-up and maybe grab some skis to take on Pluto’s icy mountains. Although at minus-229 degrees Celcius, I’d need some serious snow kit to survive that one. And let’s not even get started on the whole lack of breathable air thing.
While the first flights on Virgin Galactic haven’t launched yet, it looks like they won’t be too far away because tickets are already on sale aboard his Spaceshiptwo, a suborbital spaceplane that will carry passengers outside of Earth’s atmosphere, and I want a seat. The only catch is that mum won’t fork out the $250,000 it will cost to buy me a ticket, and I can’t see my pocket money covering it, no matter how hard I save.
Space Adventures are offering to fly people to space on a Russian Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft to go on a spacewalk with a cosmonaut. I wonder if they’re offering kids’ fares?.
There’s even a luxury space station called Aurora Station being developed by Orion Span and Bigelow Aerospace is also working on private space stations, which I guess will be like floating space hotels! That would be so cool.
And there’s also Spacex, a spaceflight company working on super-powered space rockets to fly around the moon. The founder, Elon Musk, even reckons he’ll be taking people to Mars soon. I couldn’t find a price for a ticket on that one, so here’s hoping my savings will stretch far enough when the time comes.
Until they’re all ready for take-off I guess I’m just going to have keep stargazing and dreaming of intergalactic adventures. I suppose I could head to the Space Center Houston in Texas for its Space Center University, so at least I’ll be up to speed on all the need-to-know tech and engineering when the time comes.
And if all else fails I can always rev up an X-wing or two in Star Wars Battlefront on my Playstation to get my spaceflight fix.