Friday, August 22, 2008

Galactic Suite Announces Maglev Space Flights

Okay, here's a thing...

A company that I had never heard of (and therefore haven't had on my list of space tourism companies) came out an announced today that they will be providing orbital space tourism in the year 2012. Furthermore, they say that 38 people have already signed up!

Galactic Suite was founded last year in Europe. I could not find a ton of information on them, suggesting that I'm not the only one who has never heard of them, but they seem to be interested in drawing from various new technologies and putting them together in ways that will allow for orbital space tourism.

They're based in Barcelona, Spain, and they plan on sending people to "a tropical island" (there are pictures of the island, but I could not find its name) for several weeks of astronaut training before launching them using a combination of magnetic lifting and conventional rockets. This spacecraft will dock with one of several orbital space "spas" (the first of which they intend to have in orbit in late 2012), which each have several modular compartments. These compartments will have various uses, but one side of each of them will be almost entirely transparent. The amenities in this space spa will include a room where tourists can "swim" amongst large bubbles of water.

The most unique concept in this proposed design is the maglev launch solution. Magnets will lift the spacecraft past the speed of sound, then the spacecraft will detach and fire its more conventional rockets. It's an interesting proposal. I'm skeptical as to whether this company can pull it off, but we'll see.

Their logo, however, looks like it was drawn in crayon by a third-grader.

Oh, and here's a picture of the bubble thing (credit Galactic Suite). Enjoy!

Progress: 4.03%  Flight Time: 0:06:05

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