There’s lot of talk about commercial space travel with the ‘world’s first commercial spaceline’ - Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic- set to launch by 2017. But if you fancy heading for the stars, how realistic are your chances of becoming one of the first space tourists?
Before you start packing your spacesuit though, a seat on the spacecraft will set you back a cool quarter of a million dollars (around £205,000) for a trip that lasts a few hours.
However, it’s predicted holidaymakers might be able to visit space for around £7,000 within the next couple of decades as more ‘spacelines’ appear in the market.1
Boarding a flight into space is never going to be as easy as hopping on a plane to sunny Spain though. If you think getting through Customs in a heaving airport is a chore, wait until you hear about the rigorous training you have to go through to earn your astronaut stripes.
To book your spot on Virgin Galactic, you’ll have to undergo three days of pre-flight preparation, including onsite training at the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport to make sure you’re both mentally and physically prepared for the adventure.
Are you cut out for a trip to space?
If this sounds like something you’d be up for, then you’re in luck - our number nerds have done the maths so you can find out, using our quiz and points system based on genuine astronaut training, what your chances are of boarding a space flight.
1. You’re going to be stranded in the space station for a month. Do you:
a) Come up with a daily routine that involves minimal physical effort to conserve energy
b) Come up with a daily routine that involves half an hour of light-to-medium exercise per day
c) Come up with a daily routine that involves two and a half hours of medium-to-high intensity exercise per day
2. A fire breaks out on the space station, what should you do?
a) Contain the fire and wait until it runs out of fuel
b) Use a fire extinguisher to stop the blaze
c) Cover the fire with a flame resistant blanket
3. You’re on a crowded bus when it breaks down in the middle of a busy road. The doors are jammed shut and people around you are starting to panic. Do you:
a) Stay as still as possible and shut your eyes to avoid feeling claustrophobic
b) Make sure the elderly lady standing to your left gets a seat before settling down to play I spy with the wailing child to your right
c) Start trying to figure out a logical way to open the doors to get everyone out
4. You’ve nearly finished a project at work when your computer crashes and you lose everything. You spend the next few hours redoing your work when the same thing happens again. Do you:
a) Compose a calm email to your boss asking for a deadline extension
b) Sob silently into your desk for a bit before heading home
c) Nip to the shop to get supplies for the all-nighter you’re about to pull
5. You’re trapped in a lift with 10 strangers and you all have your own ideas about how to get out. How long before they start to irritate you?
a) Being irritated isn’t going to get me anywhere
b) As long as I’m given a chance to voice my idea, we shouldn’t have a problem
c) They were irritating me before the lift even broke down. Could that guy’s breathing be any louder?
How did you do?
To see how your answers matched up, scroll down to find out how you scored.