Here’s What to Expect on the First Tourist Flights to Space
The selfies will be out of this world.
The first space tourists aboard the New Shepard will take off in a six-person capsule and experience four minutes of complete weightlessness above the Earth.
Inside the cabin, passengers all sit facing the outside. In the middle of the cabin is a solid-fuel abort motor “centered in the circular structure like a cylindrical coffee table,” according to Aviation Week.
The windows of the New Shepard are the largest ever flown in space, a spokesperson said at a press conference in Van Horn, Texas. Each passenger gets their own window, which are designed to offer panoramic views from ground to space with only a slight turn of the head.
And because this is the 21st century, the New Shepard cabin was designed for passengers to share their suborbital experiences on social media. There will be plenty of cameras positioned around the cabin capturing every moment of the experience.
Screens are positioned next to each window informing passengers with information about the flight, including warnings when it’s time to unbuckle and experience zero gravity.
The company has not yet released specific information about how much force passengers will feel upon descent back to Earth.
The New Shepard is part of Bezos’s space tourism operation Blue Origin — which is currently in a race with several other companies to be the first to send “normal” people into space. Blue Origin became the first company to successfully reuse a rocket booster a few years back.
Human test flights are scheduled for the end of this year and Bezos predicts the very first space tourists could take off in 2018. TIcket prices have not yet been released nor any reservations made for the inaugural launches but Bezos said he expected to start accepting payments “when we’re closer to commercial operations.”