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“See You in Orbit?”: A History of Space Tourism

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“See You in Orbit?”: A History of Space Tourism

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1NV027
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Millions of dreamers from around the world have patiently—and impatiently—anticipated their chance to travel in space. However, since human space travel began, fewer than 650 earthlings have been lucky enough to gaze down on our planet from a spaceship. Given so few orbiting travelers, what makes so many people think they have the slightest chance to fulfill the dream?

Alan Ladwig, former manager of NASA’s Space Flight Participant Program, has one answer: For the past 70-plus years, space visionaries, aerospace companies, government agencies, and the media have told us our ticket to ride was just a rocket away. All we have to do is keep the dream alive.

Ladwig draws on his book See You in Orbit? Our Dream of Spaceflight as he examines the promise, expectations, principal personalities, and milestones surrounding space tourism.

From the days of Robert Goddard’s theoretical Moon rocket to opportunities for private citizens to fly to the International Space Station or to soon orbit the Moon on Elon Musk’s Starship, Ladwig covers what’s been said over the years about the possibilities of space tourism and what was occurring in space travel at the time. He also reviews what has remained constant for decades: our motivation to float among the stars.

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Inside Science