Abdul Nasser El Hakim, Minister of Economy of Curaçao, told at the Global Aerospace Summit, that this island is not only advertised as a tourist destination of beaches, but also offers a trip into space.
“Win or no contest (involving 17 countries), we want to continue with the idea of reaching low Earth orbit with a robot or a person (…).”
Most of the attending to this summit were waiting for the appearance of George Whitesides, president of Virgin Galactic, and Andrew Nelson, chief operating officer of XCOR Aerospace, another company which offers suborbital flights. XCOR is also the firm behind the flights in Curaçao (sold by KLM), and, as promised, will be feasible from 2014 for a price of $95.000 per person. One big difference when you take into account that Virgin Galactic, the company best known to offer such services, order $200.000 for the same trip.
Blue Origin is the name of the company founded by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, and his bid for a suborbital trip promises to be “dirt cheap”. The idea is to carry three people in his rocket, to be launched in West Texas.
“The crew capsule will reach the edge of space, allowing the astronauts see the curvature of the earth and the beauty of our planet. After the descent and re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the crew capsule will land by parachute near the launch site, “the statement on its website. Still no release date, but in 2008 had promised that it would be in 2012. But that’s no reason to stop the offers.