With less than 600 people having travelled to space in the entire history of the species, travelling beyond the atmosphere is still one of the most exclusive experiences available to the intrepid and willing.
As the millennium progresses companies are finding more ways to allow those with the will to find a way in getting a unique view of the cosmos. In Europe several companies are using jets to fly commercial passengers far above the range of an average Boeing. With advanced technology and highly trained professionals the experiences on offer can be truly stratospheric.
A View of Stars
Given the relative ease of travelling to all corners of the globe, space is indeed the final frontier. Passengers are required to undergo a medical in order to take the flight up into the aether. Undoubtedly, though this is a worthwhile pursuit. The astronaut Ed White, upon returning from the first American spacewalk said “I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life.”
Aside from the novelty of flying in one of the most powerful pieces of aviation technology yet developed and watching as terra firma slowly recedes below the firmament, passengers will gaze upon ever longer horizons contracting below ever larger skies and eventually, space. Once the Jet reaches a point near its zenith the gaseous particles in the atmosphere become so thin that space in its incontrovertible blackness is visible beyond the cockpit. Not to mention, the multitudes of stars, solar systems and nebulae, untainted by light pollution that is so prevalent on the surface.
Military Grade Technology
Consumers who find themselves hungering for some space-faring will find that the awesome power of the military jet and its rocket-like potential for vertical climbing offer an unimaginable means for accessing the roof of the skies. Departing from jet-ready airfields and helmed by expert pilots, passengers will find themselves thrust into the upper layers and possibly even breaking the sound barrier.
Certain companies also offer the potential for customers to perform flight maneuvers during the journey of the aircraft such as looping, rolls, tail slides and accelerated vertical climbing. There are only select military aircraft that are currently available for civilian use, let alone opportunities for those of us who happen not to work for NASA to go in to space, making this an extremely unique set of experiences. Only at above 17,000 meters can you say you are part of an extraterrestrial club that never exceeds double digits.
Swiss company MiGFlug offers Edge of Space flights at£13,800, in which they take adventures as high as 13.6 miles into sky for a dazzling view of the earth in a MiG-29 jet fighter.