Want to get away from the maddening world? Your dream could turn into a literal reality with two companies leading the space tourism race saying recently that flights to outer space could take off as early as next year.
Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are reportedly close to taking passengers to outer space in commercial flights by 2019 although neither of the two companies have set a definitive date. And while obviously beyond the reach of the common man, those who can afford the tickets would be treated to different experiences depending on which company they choose to fly with.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity can accommodate six passengers and two pilots, and the entire experience in outer space will last a few minutes. The company has said that 650 people are already on the waiting list and Branson has said he would be one of the first passengers.
As for Blue Origin, six passengers would sit in a capsule attached the main rocket and would detach after blast off. In the most recent test, the capsule went as high as 66 miles or 106 kms upwards. For purposes of reference alone, the start of other space is usually considered to be at 62 miles from earth's surface.