3, 2, 1, take off! If you've always dreamed of hearing these words while you are screwed into a rocket tearing yourself off the ground, you have something to celebrate: space tourism is topical. And if your finances allow, you can even go even further than the two American astronauts who joined the International Space Station (ISS) last Saturday aboard the SpaceX rocket. From the Moon to the flight in Zero-G, this Wednesday in "L'Équipée sauvage" the scientific consultant of Europe 1 Alain Cirou goes around the offers already or soon available to allow you to have your head in the stars. And there is something for all budgets.
A flight around the Moon
You see it every day, but you only know part of it. How about discovering the far side of the moon? This is the trip that SpaceX plans to organize in 2023 with a flight around the only permanent natural satellite on Earth. The longest road trip of your life, the distance between the two stars being on average 384,400 km, which will cost you "between two and three billion dollars" per person. Despite the price, a Japanese billionaire has already made several reservations and even plans to travel with him painters, fashion designers and other film directors.
A hotel moored at the ISS
Much closer to our common house (408 km) and much cheaper, it will soon be possible to "descend" for 10 days in a hotel docked at the ISS. An additional module will soon be built with this in mind and will look like a "sort of big cocoon with large windows on Earth". Its interior will even be designed by the French Philippe Starck. Short vacations that will cost you $ 55 million, but also six months of training.
Another option to spend a similar amount (to the nearest 5 million dollars) without having to train, climb 800 kilometers from Earth to admire the view from a Dragon capsule. Just sit down and enjoy the show which lasts "a few days".
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If you are running out of time and not money, you still have the option of touching your finger space with a suborbital flight climbing up to the Kármán line, 100 kilometers above the floor of the cows. The altitude beyond which the atmosphere is too tenuous for the wings of airplanes and which, by convention, delimits the beginning of space. For this little tour in the garden of humanity, you will have to spend between 250,000 and 200,000 dollars depending on the company chosen. Already 600 people have given in to this desire.
As for ordinary people, one who does not gain in one day what others get in a lifetime, no question of going strictly into space. But it is still possible to experience one of the characteristics of space: its weightlessness. To do this, just go to Bordeaux and climb aboard a Zero-G flight. For an hour, the device will perform a series of dishes that will artificially change the force that gravity exerts on you. You will be able to thus discover the force of attraction of the Moon, of Mars, and of course its total absence. An experience at 6,000 euros that has already filled more than 11,000 people.
Space for less than 100 euros?
Last possibility: may luck be with you! A Swiss recently proposed to organize a large kitty for a suborbital flight. Registration costs 100 Swiss francs, or around 92 euros, and gives you a chance to be among the five people selected for the trip. But competition will be fierce since this route can only be organized from 25,000 subscribers.