Believe it or not, there's a company in New Mexico that has serious plans on the table to shoot this space tourist fishbowl into the sky by 2010. The design is a concept for now, but Armadillo Aerospace, with the blessing of the New Mexico government, hopes to build a working prototype by 2009. By 2010, the reusable vehicle could be blasting crews into space, where they will enjoy 360-degree views and a fairly unique spacecraft cabin experience. And probably death.The flying fishbowl will launch from Spaceport America, near Las Cruces, with tickets running an estimated $100,000. Scuba gear will probably cost extra. And a related FYI: Rocket Racing, which is also funding the bubble ship, is developing a NASCAR-inspired rocket racing league. This can't lose! [New Scientist]
Everyone should check out Armadillo's website. They have done an amazing amount of work putting together the technology to make this work. The best part about it is they show the world what they are doing though videos and regular updates. www.armadilloaerospace.com
This ride is only going to go about 60-100 miles high and a couple thousand mph. Not high enough or fast enough to heat up to melting points. They have proven the rocket engine technology with tons of flights, doing work for NASA, winning the NASA Lunar Lander Challenge (This weekend) and Selling engines to the Rocket Racing League!
BTW the squiggly things are Seatbelts.