Space Tourism 3: Community info evening

The CST 100 Starliner is Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation Vehicle, a 5-person-plus-cargo pod that will begin flights to the International Space Station in 2018. John Mulholland, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s Commercial Crew effort, says, “It’s really setting the foundation for accessible travel to space, something the world hasn’t seen. Before, it was always a government enterprise meant to serve a specific need. NASA has allowed us to service its needs, but also expand to accommodate scientists and tourists – to establish space as a destination.”

Clearly, it won’t be long before tomorrow’s tourists are gathering at the neighbourhood rec centre for more information about how they, too, can make the ISS their next destination – now that watching Antarctica’s glaciers melt has been knocked off the bucket list. And once the novelty of beholding the blue marble has worn thin – and mankind has long forgotten the universalism that a glimpse of the curve of the planet once inspired – perhaps the ISS will become tomorrow’s ‘gap year’ party destination. We can see the feature in Rolling Stone now. “Out here, no-one can hear you party,” said one reveller. “And you wouldn’t believe what you can do when there’s no gravity. It’s hilarious. I have pictures.”

story © Dianna Carr         image © Francis Tremblay