Wednesday, January 08, 2020

101 Things #45 - Going Up

Today we delve once more into the rich field of travel suggestions that people feel they or others ought to follow. [Warning: horrible cliché follows: Ed]. The topic for review is literally out of this world. [Told you. You can relax now: Ed] for we are going to examine the idea posited on the Location Rebel website, amongst others, that before you die you should
Go into space on Virgin Galactic.

Adding this one to my ever-growing list of achievements to be avoided, 101 Things I Refuse To Do Before I Die was a no-brainer. Here are the reasons.

  1. It's unbelievably expensive ($250k) . 
  2. Rich people have already bagged all the available seats. 
  3. It would mean a long distance flight to the USA. 
  4. It's operated by Virgin and I am still waiting for an apology from R. Branson or one of his minions for making me redundant without good cause when I happened to be employed by that very same organisation some years ago. 
  5. You don't actually go into space at all. You go to the edge of the atmosphere, completely within Earth's gravitational field, and do not so much fly as get hurtled up and then glide back down. 
  6. Virgin Galactic is the most pretentious name since .... no, I shall start again, it is the the most pretentious name. Just getting to the next planet is beyond them, hell, they can't even get to the moon 
  7. You don't get duty frees as you pass through the troposphere. Or coming back. Disgraceful.
Having said all that, to see the Earth from high above and to experience weightlessness would definitely be high on my real bucket-list of things to do, if it could be done cheaply, without the huge waste of chemicals required for the launch and one could spend a bit of time up top. But the VG flight will be about an hour and a half, most of which is getting up and coming down. And can you imagine the safety demonstration?

'The crew will now point out the emergency doors. If these are opened whilst we are pressurised you will be sucked out to certain death unless your seatbelt is fastened. In which case you will asphyxiate in a few moments. Or will be drowned if we have made a crash landing at sea. If we are attacked by a Thargian battlecruiser the crew will endeavour to keep them occupied by showing them offers of Virgin Mobile calling plans. If our parachute should fail upon re-entry, the crew will illuminate the sign that reads "Oh shit"'

I can think of a huge number of better uses for the price of a VG flight, not all of which involve luxury chocolates and 3-Michelin-star petits fours, (though quite a few do, as it happens), but anyway, sitting on top of a rocket is not one of them.

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