[dropcap size=big]D[/dropcap]ecember 15 was a momentous day in 2015 for the fact that British astronaut Tim Peake safely arrived for a six-month stint on board the International Space Station. Inspired, it would seem many off us would like to join him.
Research in November from kayak.co.uk revealed that more than half (52 per cent) of adult Britons would like to travel into Space – providing it was safe and affordable.
As a consequence, the search engine will begin offering the chance for every-day consumers to book flights out of the Earth’s atmosphere with American private spaceflight and rocket engine development company XCOR Space Expeditions from next year.
Although launch dates with XCOR have not yet been finalised, they will be “from 2017 onwards”. Intrepid adventurers can find its “out of this world experiences” listed on Kayak for less than £100,000 – the site is the first to sell Space travel to the public.
XCOR’s flights depart from Caracao in the Caribbean and California’s Mojave Desert.
It will take about five minutes to leave the Earth’s atmosphere on board the Lynx spacecraft, allowing for views of our planet from above with just the pilot for company, before returning to the ground within an hour. Passengers will have six minutes in Space.
Kayak says: “In order to find XCOR trips, Kayak users have to enter ‘Mojave’ or ‘Curacao’ as the departure location and travel dates in 2017 and onwards. ‘First’ must be selected as the class of ticket.”
Loella Pehrsson, regional director of Kayak for the UK, Ireland and the Nordics, said: “Kayak isn’t just a travel company, we are an innovative and forward-thinking tech company and, therefore, it is a natural – yet incredibly exciting – development to become the first travel search engine offering space tourism. Forget no-thrills holidays – we offer no-gravity ones.”
According to Kayak’s survey of 1,948 people, more men than women wanted to go into Space (66 per cent versus 39 per cent), with the majority being people under 35 (74 per cent).
Overall, more than a third of Brits (37 per cent) thought there would be a chance that recreational travel into Space would become commonplace in their lifetime, rising to three in five (59 per cent) for those under 35.
To learn more about holidays in Space, watch documentary Voyager by Vice’s technology channel Motherboard on You Tube.