Yes It Is Rocket Science, Boo Boo

In an era when even mainstream experiences are sold in our industry as ‘life changing’ may we suggest one that really will change a client’s life?

Whether it’s being one of a handful of humans in history to see our planet from outer space – or writing the cheque to do so – Adventure Travel Company’s new flights into space will undoubtedly be genuinely life changing.

The Adventure Travel Company, a division of Merit Travel, has inked an agreement with Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) to be the sole vendor of the flights in English Canada, slated to start up about a year from now. Flights will be operated on 2 seater aircraft that look similar to the space shuttles. That’s right, 2 seats: 1 for you and 1 for the pilot. Unlike their space age competitor, Branson’s Virgin Galactic, you’ll be up front in the cockpit, not back in a passenger cabin with 5 other pax, grumbling about the inflight pretzels.

And no, there won’t be any food for you in the cockpit either. Not necessary as the flights will last just an hour - from takeoff (like a regular plane, taxi-ing down the runway) to powered ascent at almost 3 times the speed of sound, to a few minutes of weightlessness at a height of 103 kms, re-entry, glide and circle and horizontal landing. Pax will have a camera on the front of their nifty astronaut uniform’s helmet to record every minute.

Flights will be operated out of both the Mojave Desert and Curacao, which hopes travellers will extend their stay enjoying a few of the island’s earthly delights. So far the company has 1 aircraft and an option on a 2nd. More than just a rich man (or woman’s) ultimate fantasy, the company is promoting the flights as a way to eventually make point-to-point travel here on earth mind bogglingly fast. Toronto to Sydney in 90 minutes, anyone?

Reinhard Sronk (a Dutchman so tall he’s almost halfway to the ozone layer) is SXC’s chief commercial officer, and he says that this may actually make travel greener.

Oh, and the cost? $109,000 including pre- and post-flight accommodation, training and yours-to-keep nifty uniform. And no need to be Apollo-fit, as long as you’re over 18 and in reasonably good shape, you’re good to go.

But you’ll have to take a number. 205 tickets have already been sold – including one to Danish entrepreneur Per Wimmer, recently seen helicoptering to the top of the Himalayas and parachuting out in -50c temperatures - and then skiing down. Now there’s a guy who knows how to change his life!


Greeters Phuong Tran & Elke Hinson channel their
inner Jetsons


ATC staffers Leon Graafland, Jennifer Patterson &
Sheryl McKee


Merit Chairman & CEO, Michael Merrithew, (started his pilot's licence training at 14) channels his inner John Glenn