“Is there any possibility of giving international air travel, which we all need and use and hate, a touch of glamour, or even of reliable, soulless efficiency? I suspect future historians will puzzle over our failure. But by then, of course, we shall be in the age of mass space travel, with its fresh and unimaginable crop of horrors.” ~ Paul Johnson
It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned my lack of love for long-haul flights in huge airplanes crammed full of fellow travellers, most of them likely as uncomfortable and impatient as I am to arrive already! Even when we’ve upgraded to the posh seats up front, it’s merely more bearable and less uncomfortable, rather than something to truly enjoy.
Oh of course, it’s a modern miracle too, and without the mass transit that planes provide, it would be so very much harder for most of us to visit distant places and explore our world.
It’s interesting to think about what tourism in space might be like… how cramped would the seating be and for how long would we be flying?… would we have to undergo physical training to handle a lack of gravity or would the implementation of anti-gravity technology happen before mass space flight?… would we be able to see out of the window into the inky blackness of space?… would we need to wear space suits and breather masks even after landing or would we transfer into the huge domed habitats of science-fiction?… or even land on a terra-formed planet with a human-safe atmosphere?… oh and what about luggage, surely weight restrictions would be even tighter?
I wonder whether space tourism will happen in my lifetime – if not, it surely won’t be many generations beyond – and how travellers on that cusp will compare it to travel today?
Sunset over a plane wing, somewhere over Canada.
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