Saturday, April 15, 2006

Extreme Adventures!

:: Some forward-looking companies are using technology to provide their customers with adventures of a lifetime!
++ Adventure Tech: USA / Incredible Adventures / Strato-X / Space Adventures, Ltd. / Rocketplane Limited, Inc.

How would you like to fly in zero gravity, take a ride on a balloon into the stratosphere, participate in cosmonaut training, fly a Russian MIG-25 to the edge of space, meet a Great White shark up close and personal, "camp out" on the International Space Station, engage in air combat, or take a ride on a suborbital spacecraft? Thanks to some adventure-oriented companies you now can (or soon will be able to)!

Extreme Rocketplane Adventure: [Rocketplane Limited, Inc.] You’ve waited your whole life for this flight, and now the time has come to take the ride of a lifetime. Your day begins with a special breakfast and a brief photo shoot. Then you board the Rocketplane XP to begin a ride that will forever transform your life and your perception of Earth.

Within minutes, you reach an altitude of over 20,000 feet. At this point the pilot flips the switch to ignite the powerful rocket engine, pulling up into a nearly vertically climb.

As the engines cut off you feel the sensation of weightlessness as the vehicle soars up into space. Out the window is a spectacular view of Earth, a view that only a select group of people has ever seen before! [Image credit: Rocketplane Limited, Inc.]

Extreme shark adventures: [Incredible Adventures] Specially designed high-tech shark viewing cages provide adequate protection for the sharks from sport divers, while allowing divers total freedom of movement and panoramic views. [Image credit: Incredible Adventures]

Extreme zero-gravity adventures: [Space Adventures, Ltd.] You can take a ride in a special aircraft designed to simulate the weightlessness of outer space. It performs a series of parabolic flight maneuvers that counter the forces of gravity. Each flight gives you a sample of what it would be like to take trip through a portion of our solar system.

First, you learn what the 1/3 gravity on Mars is like. Next, you'll experience 1/6 lunar gravity parabolas. (Just like the lunar astronauts, you can make small steps and giant leaps.) Finally, you get to sample what it is like to live and/or travel in space.

Nothing can prepare you for your first encounter with zero-gravity. You'll be bouncing uncontrollably about the cabin like human popcorn, accidentally touching fellow passengers in places you'd never dream of touching them on Earth. Soon, you'll master the fine art of moving in zero-gravity and performing out of this world maneuvers! Just like an astronaut, and just like Dr. Charles Simonyi (in the photo above), who is training for his mission to the International Space Station (ISS). [Image credit: Space Adventures, Ltd.]

Extreme orbital adventure: Space Adventures, Ltd., which offers space experiences to the very wealthy, is the only company to have successfully launched private tourists to the International Space Station (ISS), currently has a contract with the Federal Space Agency of Russia that provides them with the sole rights to transport the next four private space explorers to the ISS.
"I have always dreamed of the wonder of spaceflight and the exploration of space has always inspired me. I consider my future flight (to the International Space Station) to be a small part of an important trend to make space accessible to more people, not just to experts. I am very much in favor of commercial space travel which promises to advance technology just like commercial aviation did many years ago." ~Dr. Charles Simonyi

Extreme stratospheric adventure: The Global Western Company in Denver, Colorado is working on making near space flight a reality.

Their flights into the stratosphere will be on a 1.3 million cubic foot balloon called "Strato-X", and the missions are described as "two people, two days, at 100,000 feet"!

A normal flight will last about 40 hours, and the "stratonauts" will be suited up in partial pressure suits. The initial ascent rate is about 900 feet per minute.

At this rate it will take about 3.5 hours to reach a "float" altitude of 100,000 feet.

This is an altitude that no humans, except astronauts and a very few elite military test pilots have been to (such as those flying the Russian MIG-25.

Being above 99% of the earth's atmosphere, the sky is black above and blue below!

Extreme "edge of space" adventure: [Space Adventures, Ltd.] Of all the legendary MiGs, the MiG-25 "Foxbat" flies the fastest and goes the highest. Space Adventures has a seat reserved for you in the cockpit of this amazing supersonic high altitude interceptor. It is capable of Mach 3.2 and rockets to a height of over 80,000 feet - to the edge of space where the sky is black above and blue below.

Your pilot will be one of Russia's finest "top guns", and you'll have the best seat in the house for an unforgettable view of planet Earth! [Image credit: Space Adventures, Ltd.]

Extreme hydrolab adventure: [Incredible Adventures] If you are in good health and have a full day to spare, you can train inside the hydrolab, the same underwater training center used by cosmonauts to prepare for space walks. You'll suit up in an authentic Orlan Space Suit (equipped with health sensors) for a simulated mission inside the neutral buoyancy tank. [Image credit: Incredible Adventures]

Extreme spaceport adventure: [Space Adventures, Ltd.] American adventure company, Space Adventures, Ltd., has confirmed that Australia is now the most likely location for its planned suborbital spaceport.
"Numerous government authorities in Australia view the construction and operation of a suborbital spaceport as a truly unique opportunity to bring numerous jobs and, eventually, thousands of tourists to the area," said Chuck Sammons, vice president of Suborbital Spaceflight and Spaceport Development for Space Adventures. "We, at Space Adventures, continue to strive to bring private space travel to all private citizens worldwide. Selecting a viable location for our spaceport is another step in making commercial suborbital spaceflight a reality."

Extreme combat adventure: [Incredible Adventures] The British Aircraft Corporation Strikemaster 167 is a jet fighter/bomber with a top speed of 900 kph. Designed for reliability and safety, the Strikemaster can accelerate from 0 to 600 kph in less than 20 seconds. The jet is powered by a Rolls Royce "Viper" jet engine producing 3,410 lbs. of thrust. It can climb to 37,000 feet. The Strikemaster has flown in a variety of air forces, including the air forces of Great Britain, Singapore, New Zealand, Kenya and Saudi Arabia. The fighter features side by side seating, allowing for easy communication between you and your pilot during each mission. [Image credit: Incredible Adventures]
Note from Technophile: You can fly one of two types of missions: 1) An "Air Combat Mission": Participate in three air combat engagements, learning the dynamics of a flat engagement, then a vertical engagement and finally a three dimensional dog fight. And 2) a "Low Level Strike Attack Mission": Descend to 500 ft above the ground for a low-level run-in to the target, flying up and over ridges and into valleys to avoid radar and visual detection. Pop up and roll in on the target for a simulated weapons delivery. Dive down then pull straight into the vertical to rocket upward and perform high “G” aerobatics. Being a pilot, this is the adventure for me!
From Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: While you're on your Extreme Adventure, you will definitely want to take a "Turbo Charge" with you. Turbo Charge is an electronic, reusable, portable cell phone charger! This revolutionary product was recently chosen as one of the "Top 5 Products of 2006" at the famed Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Shortly thereafter, the product was picked up by QVC, highlighted on Good Morning America, ABC News, Fox News, and has captured news headlines across the United States. Get it here.

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