MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Chinese market has reacted enthusiastically to the prospect of flights to outer space on Lynx spacecraft, currently being developed by US-based XCOR Aerospace, iCrossChina reported Monday.
“We thought that Chinese were relatively conservative, but space travel suits those with an adventurous spirit. The market reaction has exceeded expectations,” Dexo Travel vice president Du Xiyong told iCrossChina, adding, “Most ticket buyers are male and entrepreneurs, mainly aged between 30 and 45.”
The Lynx spacecraft, still in the test stage, is designed to carry one astronaut and one passenger and is expected to take tourists into space as early as 2015. XCOR began selling tickets in China at the end of 2013, offering two types of flights: one to an altitude of 60 kilometers (37 miles) for a price of $95,000; the other to an altitude of 103 kilometers for $100,000. So far, more than 30 tickets have been sold in China, a tenth of the worldwide total.
“I think the price is well worth it. My dream will be realized, and it has no monetary value,” ticket buyer Sheng Tiaxing was quoted as saying by iCrossChina.
“To see our blue planet at that altitude must be totally different from seeing satellite photos or movies,” Sheng added.
Though Sheng claimed to know little about the technology surrounding the journey, he trusts the aerospace company. Another ticket buyer, Tong Jingjing has also accepted the risks of the flight and added that she hopes China will develop its own space tours and spacecraft in the future.
The altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles) is considered the boundary separating the earth’s atmospheric layer and outer space. Each flight will last over one hour, some five minutes of which will be spent in outer space. Du Xiyong says any healthy adult free of serious heart conditions, high blood pressure and epilepsy can take a space journey.