Spacecraft for Sale

Imagine yourself inside a spaceship accelerating with an intense burst of rocket fire before feeling weightlessness as its engine shuts off and your ship coasts onward.

Ordinary people might one day experience space tourism thanks to several companies working on it – just be prepared for a hefty bill when doing so!

Space Shuttle Orbiters

Space Shuttle Orbiters are wide-body delta-winged aircraft and space vehicles capable of delivering payloads to the International Space Station before returning them back to Earth after each mission. A highly articulated mechanical arm known as Remote Manipulator System (RMS) allows them to access their cargo bay to extract and deploy payload modules from there.

An avionics system relays instructions from the flight deck to two twin double-delta wings that control flight in space and during reentry. Elevons on these wings combined with rudder/speed brakes on the vertical stabilizer help control banking turns during descent.

The flight crew communicates with NASA mission controllers in Houston via a 60 ft radio antenna at White Sands that sends signals up to two Tracking and Data Relay Satellites orbiting 22,300 miles above Earth. Crew members also speak directly among themselves inside their compartment and with spacewalkers using UHF frequencies picked up by personal intercom plug-in audio terminal units.

Space Shuttle Columbia

NASA’s space shuttle Columbia served 28 missions before reentering Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrating, killing all seven astronauts on board. Just prior to its catastrophic return home it had completed its second overhaul and system update which reduced mass by over 1,000 pounds.

On January 16, 2003, Columbia began her 28th flight into space – a 16-day research mission focusing on experiments requiring microgravity conditions. Her crew included commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; mission specialists Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair Salton Clark and Ilan Ramon as the inaugural Israeli astronaut.

Columbia differed from Endeavour and other recent orbiters by having an internal airlock and being heavier, making it less suitable for Shuttle-Centaur launches to and dockings with the International Space Station, although modifications were made as part of its final refit.

Space Shuttle Soyuz

Soyuz spacecraft have long been the backbone of Russian space exploration, ferrying astronauts between Salyut and Mir stations for decades. A complex vehicle capable of active maneuvering, orbital rendezvous and docking.

Since NASA canceled their shuttle program in 2011, Soyuz seats have become in high demand among companies such as Space Adventures who purchase these seats to fly millionaires to the ISS such as videogame developer Richard Garriott and videogame author Terry Brooks. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard project also plans to transport paying passengers, although pricing details have yet to be made public.

Russia will charge an eye-watering $45.7 million per seat until SpaceX and Boeing commercial crew vehicles are ready for launch, though this figure is considerably lower than what was paid to purchase 71 Soyuz seats between 2006 and this flight; yet still more than what Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo ticket costs ($255,000).

Space Tourism

Space tourism involves nonscientific citizens traveling into space for recreational or entertainment purposes. Companies like Virgin Galactic, XCOR Aerospace and Blue Origin are developing spacecraft designed specifically for this use.

However, tickets for one of these flights can be prohibitively costly; Virgin Galactic charges $250,000 just to get on its waitlist for space flights; SpaceX by Elon Musk has conducted orbital space trips for private passengers as well.

Space travel may seem unattainable for some, but its benefits go well beyond financial returns. Space exploration offers unique experiences which provide personal growth and self-discovery opportunities.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft was intended to become the inaugural suborbital spacecraft that could carry tourists, but on its maiden flight in 2021, a catastrophic failure left Blue Origin grounded until further notice.

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