Dubai: At 4,000 kph, outer space is just four minutes away and the thrill of a lifetime could be all yours for an hour at a cool Dh367,000.

Dutch aerospace firm, Space Expedition Corporation (SXC), has launched a campaign to sign up people from the UAE for their ambitious space tourism programme that will see four daily trips to space and back from April 2014.

As many as 250 people have already signed up globally, including one from Dubai, apart from several celebrities such as rockstar Bob Geldof, world renowned DJ Armin Van Buuren as well as the second man to step on moon Buzz Aldrin.

The trip will involve travelling at an exhilarating speed of 4,000 kph, experiencing 22 seconds of weightlessness, 20 seconds of G-Force that is four times the body weight as well as an exclusive view of the earth that only 560 people have experienced before.

“It is truly an experience of a lifetime and if you can afford it, there is nothing like it. Those five to six minutes in outer space could be the best one can have. It will be dark and silent all over, and you will be looking down on earth as you have never before, it’s the most peaceful feeling one can have. I have spoken to many astronauts and they all say that there is no better feeling. Every astronaut comes back a changed man,” said Michiel Mol, the chief executive officer of SXC, speaking to Gulf News as he launched the sign up drive.

SXC, in association with Excor Aerospace, has spent 13 years in building a spacecraft, Lynx Mark I that can make the trip possible.

“It has been my dream to travel to space since childhood and I believe Lynx Mark I will make it possible, we have former Nasa scientists working on it. Our idea is to make space accessible for everyone and the spacecraft we are building will be a game-changer in this regard. The most interesting thing about it is that it can take off and land independently, unlike the conventional spacecraft,” added Mol.

Lynx’s four revolutionary engines can be used 5,000 times and the other important advantage that Lynx has over its competitors is that the spacecraft is propelled by normal jet fuel unlike solid fuel used by conventional spacecraft and it can achieve speeds of Mach 3.

“The real game-changer is the fuel that we are using, which is making it possible for us to make as many trips as we can, while also keeping it relatively affordable,” he further explained.

The spacecraft will carry one passenger at a time and will blast off from SXC’s Mojave space port in 2014, while in 2015 SXC will begin its operations from its second space port at Dutch Caribbean island Curacao.

“The spacecraft will reach an altitude of 100 kilometres in space, where it will stay for five to six minutes. The passenger, who will also be a co-pilot, would be allowed to manoeuvre the spacecraft during the stay in space. After five-six minutes in space the descent will begin and the spacecraft will glide back in circles before it touches down at the space port in a horizontal landing just like a normal aircraft,” Mol explained the experience.

Interested would-be astronauts can sign up for the trip through Alchemy Tourism, who are representing SXC in the UAE.

source: gulfnews