by Adam Stacey
Every man and his dog have had the dream to venture in to space and become a real life astronaut. And, if you are like me, you have probably spent a ridiculous amount of time staring up at the night sky, trying to fathom what it would be like to float around up there; taking in the breathtaking views of the earth and beyond!
But the time has come fellow stargazers, as these dreams are about to become a reality - as the space race is back on! But, this time, it is the travel companies that are pitted against each other rather than the superpowers.
In May, Virgin Galactic was given a launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and there are now over 600 people who have paid $250,000 (approximately £155,000) to take a commercial trip in to space.
Bloon however, is countering Virgin Atlantic’s offer, by launching near-space flights for €110,000 (approximately £88,000) using the same technology as the Red Bull Stratos mission in 2012.
So, now that the fundamentals are in place, how much you would be willing to pay to venture in to space?
Travelbag.co.uk recently conducted a survey asking 1,000 people in the United Kingdom how much they would be prepared to pay to circle the planet in a commercial spaceship, and witness the vast views of the earth in zero gravity.
The results found that the majority of respondents would pay up to £10,000 to fly to space. A total of 68.1% said that they would spend under £10,000 for the chance to go to space. A much smaller 14.2% would pay a little more for the experience, agreeing to pay between £10,000 and £50,000. But, only 10.7% said they would be prepared to pay Virgin Atlantics price of over £150,000, and a mere 4.5% would drum up the £50,000 to £100,000 needed to take the Bloon trip to near-space.
The data was collected via Google Consumer Surveys. Respondents included men and women of all ages from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
So fellow astronauts, what would you pay to rocket off in to the great beyond? I think the prices are a bit out of my league at the moment, so I’m going to continue reading this book about anti-gravity… it's impossible to put down! (Too much?)