Well, what would space tourism be without space travel agents? I had previously talked about one of Virgin Galactic’s first space travel agents Carolyn Wincer back in January 2008.
Now, I decided to have a conversation with Beverly Rother an accredited space travel agent also for Virgin Galactic who is based in Miami, Florida for an update on the state of the space travel agents for 2010.
I asked Beverly what it takes to be accredited by Virgin Galactic as a Space Agent? She replied, “I had to submit a written application with Virtuoso and Virgin Galactic, as well as with a phone interview with Virgin Galactic from the UK and I was lucky to be 1 of only 76 hand picked accredited space agents (ASA) who are authorized to sell space travel. I then had to go through 2 days of training & seminars with my fellow ASA’s and we then witnessed the historic world premier of the unveiling of VSS Enterprise in the Mojave Desert, CA on December 7, 2009. We have monthly webinars to be kept updated.”
I also asked Beverly, how she sees the space tourism industry evolving in the years to come? Her reply was, “Space tourism is now a reality. We have over 300 deposited reservations at this time and we expect approximately 500 people to travel the first year she flies. VSS Enterprise is now in full test regime for the next 12-24 months. Once she has safely passed all testing & US Regulations (Headquarters are based near Las Cruces, New Mexico at Spaceport America) we’ll be ready for take off. This is NOT a race, safety of our passengers comes first. This is only the beginning to travel into space.”
Here is some additional information about space travel with Virgin Galactic supplied by Beverly Rother:
“Once you’re confirmed with at least a 10-percent deposit (or higher levels depending when you want to go) you’ll receive a welcome pack and special insider updates, including special invitations to events with your fellow astronauts (such as the unveiling where 170 future astronauts were in attendance).
“Included is a 3-day training program at Spaceport America. There you’ll be issued a Phillippe Starck-designed space suite, undergo G-Force and possibly weightlessness training, full preflight training and learn all about your mission! You can even charger the spacecraft with your family, friends or special coworkers for a discounted rate.
“Each flight holds 6 astronauts who all have a window view, along with the 2 pilots onboard the spaceship. The spaceship is berthed to the Eve Mothership, which is a specially designed twin-fuselage jet airplane –and the world’S first commercial aircraft made out of 100 percent carbon composite material.
“After takeoff you’ll fly to 50,000 feet and hear the countdown. The spaceship releases and with it’s hybrid rocker motor accelerates you into a vertical climb which reaches Mach 1 (the speed of sound). Within 30 seconds you’ll be at Mach 3.4. After 90 seconds, the pilots cut the motors and the spaceship will continue to climb to 68 miles above earth, an altitude of 360,000 feet.
“Six miles above the space border, you’ll experience total silence – and Zero G for the next 4-5 minutes. Release your seatbelts and ENJOY this unique experience. You must then return to your seats and experience a thrilling 90 second reentry, peaking at nearly 6 G’s. The Spaceship’s wings have been ‘feathered up’ and will rotate back to their usual position to glide you safely back to Earth to collect your astronaut wings.”
If you have an inclination for a trip into space via Virgin Galactic then contact Beverly Rother for more info.