1. Only three nations have successfully put people into space: the US, Russia and China. All have been government programmes, developed at great expense. Now, a new era is beginning in which private enterprise will take people 100km or more above the Earth.
2. In 2001, an American, Christ Tito, became the first space tourist. He travelled to the International Space Station by Rocket and stayed there for ten days. A year later South African Millionaire, Mark Shuttleworth, went on the same trip. When he returned to earth he said, “Every second will be with me for the rest of my life”. Both men paid $20 million for their holidays.
3. The company that organised their trips is called Space Adventures. Its president, Eric Anderson, thinks space tourism will be the next big thing. “Everyone is looking for a new experience,” he says. In a few years he is going to start selling rocket trips to the public for about $ 100.000. _________________
4. Another company, The Space Island Group, is planning to build a circular hotel in space like the spaceship in the famous film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It will have everything a normal hotel has, except that the bedrooms won’t have windows. This is because the hotel will revolve, in other words it will turn around itself and people will feel sick if they look out of a window. Instead there will be screens showing pictures from space. Gene Myers, the company’s president, thinks that in 2020 a five-day holiday at the hotel might cost only $25,000. _________________
5. Other companies have even bigger plans. Bigelow Aerospace is spending $500 million on a plan to build a 700-metre spaceship to fly tourists to the moon. There will be 100 tourists on each trip and each person will have a private room with a view of the Earth’s sunset. The Hilton Hotel Group has even talked about building a hotel on the moon.
6. Built by Burt Rutan and financed by Paul Allen, SpaceShipOne has entered the history books to become the first private manned spacecraft to fly to the edge of space and back. Mike Melvill became the first civilian to pilot a craft into space. Steve Bennett, chief of the British civilian space project, Starchaser Industries, said it was an important achievement. It finally came back to Earth after its 90-minute flight. Messages of congratulations came from Nasa's administrator Sean O'Keefe. He said that this just proves that you don't have to be Nasa or a government organisation. At the moment only millionaires can go on holiday in space. However one day you might be able to go there yourself- and it could be sooner than you think. (Taken and Adapted from Face to Face & http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3811881.stm)
I) Read the article about Space Travel above and match headings a-e to paragraphs 2-5.
a) Space hotels
b) Going to the moon
c) The future of tourism
d) The first space tourists
II) Read the article again and answer the questions.
1) Who were the first space tourists? _______________________________________________
2) Did these space tourists enjoy their journey? How do you know? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
3) Eric Anderson thinks that space travel will be popular because ________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
4) The Space Island Group will not have any windows in their hotel because _______________ ___________________________________________________________________________
5) Which two companies have bigger plans...
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