By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
(CNN) - Space travel might soon be a reality for the average Joe - or at least for wealthy average Joes.
With NASA shuttering the space shuttle program and the government decreasing funding for the space program, private companies are filling the void.
Thursday, the first private capsule to dock at the International Space Station successfully returned to Earth.
As part of its historic nine-day trip, the Dragon capsule - built by the company SpaceX - delivered more than 1,000 pounds of cargo to the space station.
NASA has hailed the mission as a step toward a new future of private innovation in the space industry.
SpaceX is one of a few companies getting funding from NASA to develop commercial transport of astronauts into space.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light to Virgin Galactic to start rocket-powered suborbital test flights for a commercial spacecraft.
The so-called SpaceShipTwo seats six passengers; it has one year to test flights beyond the atmosphere.
Virgin Galactic, owned in part by British billionaire Richard Branson, has taken deposits from more than 500 people, including celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher.
It costs $200,000 a pop. Passengers will get to experience weightlessness and see the curve of Earth against the black sky of space.
Virgin Galactic's commercial spaceflights are not expected to start before 2013.
Finally, NASA is warning future moon explorers not to ruin the Apollo landing sites.
Twenty-six teams are competing to become the first privately funded group to land on the moon as part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE.
It's clear we're inching ever closer to the final frontier being open for business.
Here’s my question to you: Would you want to travel into space?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
Only if I could be beamed up. Couldn't stand a claustrophobic spaceship. My husband frequently suggests that it would be a good idea for me to go, though.
Carol in Northampton, Ma
Would I want to travel into space? Of course I would.... However knowing that I would be unfit for space travel in my advance years and vulnerable health status, I know it is unrealistic. But I would love my children and grandchildren to be able to bring back pictures from their voyages and share them with the grandmother and me knowing we were privileged to see the first steps on the moon..... Those memories keep us forever young....
Definitely. In space no one LOLs.
No Jack. I guess it is another way to do some thing exciting, or flirting with possible disaster. I get mine driving the freeway at seventy plus, with people passing me texting, talking on the phone, reading, etc.
Would you want to travel into space?
I hope to do so for my "inheritance...that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you/me"-
(1st Peter 1: 4) but would not be able to enjoy that now (smile).
It would be a cool adventure but since there are places here on earth I'd like to see, it isn't in the top 10 of my bucket list.
Just the space between my ears.
I'd love to, but not in the primitive vehicles they have now. Or behind the curtain is there something better?? In the future it's amazing what is going to be around!!!
Of course, Jack, who wouldn't! But even at the Speed of light, it's just two slow. I guess we have to crawl before we can walk or run, the solar system is our only focus now and it has some interesting items while we are waiting on Worm Hole technology or my favorite in the same science, Folding Space! With so much to learn, I find it abysmal that we fight in our congress over trivial matters of no real progress! I have always said that Education and Health Care should be free to all Americans and that leaves us with exploration of space!
Sadly, we do not have enough time to progress in order to get off this rock before cataclysmic events kill us all. And it is all our fault! To busy with greed and power to know the real happiness in exploration of the universe!
entered into a drawing several years back to go up on one of Virgin Galactic's trips into space. Apparently I did not win. The trip is short. An up and down feel the feeling of weightlessness and glide back to earth. It isn't like your really going anywhere. I don't think it is going to be as enjoyable as people think. Imagine being strapped inside of a rocket with a bunch of other people wearing diapers to keep them from messing themselves and if someone gets air sick with no gravity that stuff will go everywhere.
Well, no. Frankly, I am too lazy. But the government should try to keep pace with the rest of the world, concerning space travel. One of these centuries we are going to need to get out of this place, most likely because of over population. Also, I have a personal theory, ( a hope really ), that when I die, I will be reborn on one of the other septillion planets. Its almost a sure thing mathematically. One Septillion chances? Come on. Its a lay up. Doug, Pepperell, MA.
I can't afford to travel to visit my kids. Space doesn't fit in my budget.
No, there's no air there and not much room to walk around in space ships.
So would the space industry tax the heck out of us with fees like baggage, potty, food, beverages, oxygen, sleeping quarters, etc..
No, I would not go into space unless I could fly the craft.
Not these days- a great many of our parts for our military aircraft are conterfit made inChina. You know how it goes with made in China comapred to cost it's as expensive as all get out and falls apart the next day. We'd be flying with made In China-no thanks.
No desire--in fact all of the "space cadets" are located in Washington--so if you want to travel in space--you don't have to go that far!
As long as I can keep on going, Yes. There definitely isn't any intelligent life down here maybe I could run into some elsewhere.
Yes, I want to. The question is Would I? No. Too chicken!
Jack, I don't even like to fly let alone go into space and besides some people I know would love to send me into space with a one way ticket so I'm not going just to be able to continue to afflict these comfortable people.
I would like to have a ticket to ride into space. That way I could sell the ticket and use the money to pay my health insuance premiums.
Not really, I'm still trying to navigate the planet that I live on!
Rich man's folly. What is the point other than to say that you have done it? Until there is a chance to be productive, being a space tourist is merely just another scalp on the belt.
No, I have enough trouble taking an airplane ride.
when I was a young man I would have said yes in an instant but now as I am older I don't think so.I would however suggest that Nasa develop a program whereby our blood and dna be launched into space aimed at another galaxy where there is a chance inteligent life could exist. Send up some of our most precious art so it is saved for posterity.
Our lifespan here on earth is limited at best. why not show someone else who we were and why we were unique.
If it was reasonably secureand there was an established place to go, yes.If it was just for the ride, yes.
I feel I have better chances in Afghanistan.
Why would want to go some place where there is very little water and no food to eat thus depending on regular shipments of supplies from earth. As for just going into space just to say that you did it just doesn't seem to be worth the cost of doing so. It's a one percenter's kind of thing to do. If you got money to burn, go for it.
Absolutely note. I like my feet planted firmly on the ground, thank you.
Although I am skeptical of “for profit” space, if I had and extra $200,000, I’d be in one of those six seats in a New York minute!
Only if Noot isn't already on the moon, then sure!
No.....but I hereby volunteer my former wife – I'm sure she'd make a great astroNUT.
Travel into space? Trust me Jack, back in the 80's, I did.
"I'm already travelling in space, have done since time began in some form or another! As for flying or leaving this planet, I prefer my feet on the ground."
Yes, I would be interested... unfortunately, I don't have that kind of money. Personally, I think it is more important to find a way into space that doesn't rely on rocket technology, which is far too resource-intensive to be economical. At the very least, we need to start constructing the hulls for long-range research vehicles in space, in order to reduce the costs of such missions.
Jack, as a sci-fi buff and unashamed Trekkie, I'm looking forward to the day when I can take a once-in-a-lifetime trip into Earth orbit, and see for myself the curvature of the Earth. I do hope the government will not totally give up on NASA, though.
No, imagine getting motion sickness and not be able to stop for many days.
As someone who came to Roswell years ago from the Gamma Quadrant I can tell you space travel is no big deal. They seal you up in pressure coooker and when they let you out you're somewhere else. I'd rather ride across the country on an Amtrak train.
No I would not. Given a second go around I would become a space lawyer...here on the planet.
Would you want to travel into space? Short Answer : NO – there is way too much to see & do here on earth, or namely in this country, let alone traveling to other countries for tourism, as far as I'm concerned. I think it's great for private enterprises to do this. This should have been done long ago, instead of raping the Taxpayers, for all the "space hoopla" There is more than plenty of "Billionaires" on this Earth to build a "George Jetson Mobile" & take people to where they want to go. This may end up eventually being competition for the Airline Industry, in a few years, once they build "PODS" in some cities & towns in some States. They can "fly you" to a Point of Destination – From a Point of Departure. Good for them.
No! But I would like to send Gingrich and some of his friends to the moon to build their colony called Gingrichvill.
It's on my Bucket List.
I plan on going eventually, although I would prefer a launch system harnessing centrifigal force to one using rockets. Not only is it cheaper, but it is eaiser on the body.
No, but I would be willing to help pay for Donald Trump's one-way ticket to somewhere other than earth.
In a heartbeat! Space exploration is responsible for many of the technologies we enjoy today such as velcro, dental braces, and computers smaller than warehouses. Not only that, who doesn't want to float around in zero gravity and get a look at the big blue world?
To answer your question, Jack, YES I would love to travel into space. As an Aerospace Engineer, and I believe I speak for my colleagues as well; it would be a dream come true. It is one of the reasons I chose to become a rocket scientist. However, the price for each passenger will be an impediment.
Hey, get off of my lawn! We are already protecting our "turf" in space. Here we go again, off to exploit whatever we can outside of the confines of our friendly planet. I know man has to go, but maybe this time we should just look and not touch.
I've already been, space is an endless cold vacuum (absolute zero). The earth is really worth saving, and time is running out, five years until the damage become irreversible. I see oxygen sales going threw the roof if we don't do something. Plant trees, vote out all Republicans, are a couple of things we can do...so do it.
To answer your question, Jack, YES I would love to travel into space. As an Aerospace Engineer, and I believe I speak for my colleagues as well; it would be a dream come true. It is one of the reasons I chose to become a rocket scientist. However, the price for each passenger will be an impediment. Also, it would be pretty awesome if Captian Kirk is the Pilot.
I think it would be great, as long as pilots are not allowed to do texting while in the cockpit. Slamming into some piece of space junk at close to a thousand miles an hour probably wouldn't be something you could walk away from.
I would go. Boldly.
I would love to travel in space just to see, first hand, what it looks like. I won't ever get to, but I bet my grandsons will. In the meantime, I'll just keep enjoying science fiction movies.
No, but can I get my wife a one way ticket. Price is no object.
If people can't think of a higher priority for their money, Quaker Peace & Service, Doctors Without Borders, The Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Susan B Anthony House.
Absolutely. In a heart beat.
Yes, because, In Space, no one can hear Justin Bieber.
Jack, why risk space travel when you have so many alien beings right here on this planet. If an alien landed on earth during the Presidential election campaign, they would would label us Neanderthals and high tail it back to some other planet where they could at least have an intelligent conversation with some plant life.
No thank you. Love the idea in theory but not in practice. I am getting a bit claustrophobic just imagining being in that tiny compartment for that long, with no usable oxygen within breathing distance.
Of course everyone at first glance would love to travel into space, but what do you do about radiation, muscle atrophy, and space debris just to name a few concerns? Traveling through space only makes sense if we're heading for a destination. The only places we can go with current technology are planets and moons in our own solar system. We can't even "safely" visit all of our planets and moons. Mars is possibly the only other extraterrestrial world we can visit until we further develop our understanding of the universe.
What for, mother earth is beautiful. Everything I need is here.
Man by nature was inquisitive, but I would rather see the rest of our world at this point of time.
This is why shows like Star Trek are so popular. If there were such a thing as a real Star Fleet I would have enlisted straight out of high school. I can't think of a greater calling than star travel. Human beings are explorers – all of us, deep down. That will be our future once again if we plan to outlive our planet.
I could care less about space travel. My question from the time I first heard about "private" companies entering space travel is are they insured by the government or do they supply their own insurance? If it's private, who would be foolish enough to insure these death traps. And if it's public, why didn't congress inform the American people that we just turned the only potentially profitable part of the space program over to private companies? Another billionaire insider handout.
Absolutely, but I'm glad the Space Shuttle is no longer an option. The idea of sitting inside a collection of ceramic bricks flying in formation was not very reassuring. I've been following the space program since Sputnik interrupted my cartoons, and the Dragon looks like the best ride yet. Kudos to the SpaceX team.
I read above, and am marveled by those that are not attracted to the idea of looking back at their very unique planet. To me, it would be the ultimate experience, I'd go in a heartbeat
Steve in hawaii
Regular flights are enough trouble, can you imagine what the TSA screening would be like for a missile launch into space?
Sign me up. I'm ready now. In about 1960 my brother and I had "tickets" from Pan Am airlines supposedly good for seats on one of their first flights in space. That didn't happen. I'm still waiting for an opportunity.
In a heart beat. If someone walked up to me right now and said I have one spot to space you in. Lets just say I hope my employer was understanding because the computer would still be on.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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