the view from the international space station, some 250 kilometres above earth. travelling at nearly 2900 kilometres an hour, it orbits the earth every ninety minutes. consider that if the earth was the size of a basketball, our atmosphere would be as thick as a sheet of paper. the reds and greens you see illuminating our atmosphere is the result of airglow (though in some of these it’s also the aurora). for more on airglow, see this post.

  • Described as a “dusty curtain” or “ghostly apparition”, mysterious reflection nebula VdB 152 really is very faint. The cosmic phantom is nearly 1,400 light years away and it lies along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving parts of the nebula a characteristic blue color. 
  • Ultraviolet light from the star is also thought to cause a dim reddish luminescence in the nebular dust. Though stars do form in molecular clouds, this star seems to have only accidentally wandered into the area, as its measured velocity through space is very different from the cloud’s velocity. This deep telescopic image of the region spans about 7 light-years.

So you want to go to space ?

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the earth. I put my thumb and covered one eye and my thumb blotted out the planet earth.

- Neil Armstrong

And ergo ‘Space’ became a part of my vocabulary from a very young age. All that i wanted to do was to become an astronaut and wander the oblivion space that lies beyond our wildest comprehension.

But how much is the ticket?!?

I hear if you try to buy it on a Tuesday at 2am you will get a GREAT fare!

Alright all jokes aside space travel is becoming available to regular citizens, well maybe regular isn’t the right word, wealthy citizens.

But just how wealthy do you need to be? How many banks should you plan on robbing before you pack your bags?

Well it depends on where you are going. ;)

Do you want to go on a spaceplane?

This is at about 60 miles above the Earth’s surface.

If Virgin Galactic does continue with SpaceShipTwo they had set their cost at $250,000 or about 6 bank robberies.

(Since the crash of an earlier version of SpaceShipTwo (due to pilot error) they are instead shifting their time and money towards practical launchers. HOW LAME!!)

If XCOR finishes up the Lynx they have set their ticket cost at $100,000 or 3 bank robberies.

But what about a trip to the International Space Station (ISS)?

Well I have good news for you because private citizens have already paid for trips there. No waiting around for a spaceplane to be built.

Space Adventures has put people in space since 2001. They make the travel arrangements for civilians to ride the Russian Soyuz capsule to the space station.

The cost is over $20 million or 435 bank robberies.

How about walking in space?

For an extra $15 million (327 bank robberies) Space Adventures will organize for you to do a spacewalk during your stay on the ISS.

If this all seems a little too pricey for you maybe you should think about the space simulators!!

Zero Gravity Corporation sells tickets on NASA’s “Vomit Comet” (a plane that makes you feel like you are weightless) for $136,000 BUT it is for you and 35 of your closest friends!

Talk about a party!!!

They do offer for you to pay an individual price but that all is on a case by case business. However if you are a struggling student I have some good news for you.

NASA offers undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct experiments on reduced gravity flights. They also have flights for educators too so definitely check out their programs!!

Did you enjoy the post?

If you did, please take a second to follow the author - Marielle ( A Rocket Scientist ) 

who runs her own website - missaerospace / on twitter and also has her own tumblr. Her posts truly appeal to the space geek in every one of us.

Have a good day!

PC: Dangerouslee Space.com Oleg Kotov Takes a Picture During a Spacewalk by NASA Johnson