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Space Oddity Space Oddity

Space Oddity

May 7, 2009

We called a licensed Virgin Galactic travel agent to answer our burning questions about the company's pioneering space-tourism trips.

GOOD: Let's say I wanted to go into space-there are some things I'd want to know. For starters, how high will I go?VIRGIN: The plane elevates 60,000 feet into space. Then the rocket sort of launches into space for 60 to 70 miles, at which point you're floating out of your seat for a little while.G: How long will the flight last?V: The entire thing is about two to three hours. And the part where you are out in space floating lasts about six minutes.G: So it costs $200,000 right?V: The fee is $200,000, and the deposit minimum is $20,000, but the more your deposit is, the sooner you go.G: Can I pay by credit card, like a regular flight?V: No. You need to buy it outright, and money can be wire-transferred to the U.K. offices.G: What should I bring?V: You don't need to bring anything. You'll have time to prepare in advance and you get a suit in the plane, but you don't want to bring anything with you. I've done a weightless experience before, and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done. I tried it with a camera in my hand, and then again without, and trust me, you don't want to be carrying anything with you. Virgin Galactic takes care of all of that.G: Can I bring my dog?V: Um, I doubt it.G: Another possibly stupid question: Are there bathrooms?V: No, there's no time for that. Trust me, you won't be looking for that when you're 6,000 feet up.G: How soon can I go?V: The first-tier founder flight is sold out. There were 100 seats that basically were invitation only. Beyond that, it depends on how much you put down. I'm not 100 percent sure, but if you put down, say, $125,000 now you might be 250th on the list.G: Will I get jet lag?V: Based on what astronauts have shared, after the weightless experience, being up in space, seeing layers of air and the curvature of the earth, you definitely feel different. You won't have jet lag, but you will definitely feel different.G: Do I need a passport?V: Funny you should bring this up. You would fly out of New Mexico, so you might not. But Virgin Galactic might make something kind of like this for space.G: So there's paperwork involved?V: Yes.

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