The Disabled Space Tourist


From "G B Leatherwood" <gblrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date Tue, 9 Nov 2004 10:13:17 -0500

Now that the cauldron has stopped bubbling over SpaceShipOne, it's time to stir it again. Here goes:
So far everyone--male, female, human or animal (remember Laika, the Space Dog?) has been carefully and exhaustively tested, selected, trained, and trained, and trained, with every bodily function recorded, charted, and analyzed. No one except perfect physical and mental specimens has been allowed to travel in space. Oh, I forgot--seems like a couple wore glasses while on the ISS.
But what's going to be the case when (not "if"--WHEN) space tourism becomes reality? SpaceShipOne left the key under the doormat; Robert Bigelow is offering $50 million of his own money for the next challenge in addition to working on his own space hotel; the Chinese say they will have an active space tourism business by 2020; and not all of those beaten to the Ansari X-Prize by Rutan are giving up. Friends, it WILL happen!
Now. All good sci-fi stories start out with "What if....?" As we all know, sci-fi has a way of giving us a glimpse of reality. Robots? CDs? Phasers set on stun? Floating cities? "Rendevous with Rama?" "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress?" "Ringworld?"
What if...a family of four decides to take a vacation trip including a tourist flight from the Mid-World Space Center. Two orbits of Earth. Under $20K per person. Dad is a TV personality and movie star and can afford just about any vacation anywhere for any length of time. One daughter is blind and her constant companion is her "seeing eye" dog.
See (no pun intended) where this is going?
Can daughter take the dog on the tourist flight?
Ad Astra!
G B Leatherwood
NSS Director of Projects--Chapters
Ad Astra!
G B Leatherwood
NSS Director of Projects--Chapters