Discover the World Beyond Our Own at These Top 10 Space Tourist Hot Spots
BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- Apr 21, 2015 -- With International Astronomy Day coming up on Saturday, April 25th, and Star Wars Day, May the Fourth, just a few weeks away, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have been thinking about the world beyond our own. The team did a little stargazing to come up with the Top 10 Space Tourist Hot Spots where you can get in touch with your inner rocket scientist and explore the final frontier.
From space travel to UFO discoveries here on earth, tourism opportunities for space enthusiasts may be closer than you think as you will see in these six places and experiences to make our list:
- Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida - Since
opening in 1967, Kennedy Space Center has attracted space
enthusiasts to the Space Coast in central Florida. More than 1
million people annually visit the 70-acre facility named for U.S.
President John F. Kennedy. Visitors can stand nose to nose with the
Space Shuttle Atlantis, one of five space shuttles used by NASA
that traveled 126 million miles during 33 space missions. Guests
can also partake in 60 multimedia exhibits and simulators. The
campus also gives visitors the chance to touch a moon rock, stand
under the largest rocket ever flown, and experience what a shuttle
launch is like through the five-minute simulator ride Shuttle
Launch Experience. Space enthusiasts can also make reservations to
have lunch with an astronaut.
- Area 51, Great Basin Desert, Nevada - Area 51 is an Air
Force base in southern Nevada's Great Basin Desert. Conspiracy
theorists believe Area 51 is home to the hidden wreckage of UFOs
and that extraterrestrials are kept in alien autopsy rooms and
their space crafts are parked in lots. Folks started claiming to
see UFOs in the area beginning in the mid-20th century and the U.S.
government's classification of details here continues to fuel
speculation by some that we are not alone in the universe. UFO
hunters often drive State Road 375, which the state designated as
the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996 for the numerous UFO and alien
sightings purportedly witnessed along the road and its close
proximity to Area 51. The nearby town of Rachel (population 98)
caters to UFO hunters with local businesses like Little A'Le'Inn,
an alien-themed motel, trailer park, restaurant and gift shop.
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver, Canada - A gift
from lumber magnate H.R. MacMillan to the citizens of Vancouver,
the iconic planetarium opened in 1968. The center includes a
planetarium, exhibit gallery and theater that features star shows
and space-themed movies. For a full on out-of-this-world
experience, opt to spend the night. Overnight guests will explore
the Cosmic Courtyard, create their own bottle rockets, view the
night sky through a special telescope and end the night with a
- Zero-G Experience, multiple locations - Space
enthusiasts who want to experience weightlessness without going to
space have the chance to do so at a fraction of the cost with the
Zero-G Experience. During a pricey 90- to 100-minute flight (a
ticket is $4,950), passengers experience multiple periods of 30
seconds of reduced gravity or weightlessness achieved with 15
aerobatic maneuvers or parabolas performed during the flight.
Travelers must be at least 8-years-old to fly on the modified
Boeing 727. The five-hour experience includes an orientation, light
breakfast, group photo, flight and a "Regravitation Celebration,"
which includes refreshments and distribution of photos. The price
of the flight includes orientation, flight, refreshments, photos, a
video of the flight, a certificate and a Zero-G suit. Flights
routinely take off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., Las Vegas, and San Jose, Calif.
- Roswell, New Mexico - The city in southeastern New
Mexico was made famous when a flying saucer or, as the military
reported, a weather balloon, crashed at a ranch near Roswell in
1947. Authorities in Roswell handled the wreckage and investigation
of the crash, which became known as the 1947 Roswell UFO incident.
Visitors can learn more about the incident at the International UFO
Museum and Research Center, which aims to educate visitors on all
aspects about UFOs.
- Space Adventures, Russia - For those who have dreamed of
being an astronaut and taking flight, Space Adventures offers the
chance for wannabe astronauts who have $35 million (price depends
on trip length among other factors) to fly in the Russian Soyuz
space craft to the International Space Station alongside
professional astronauts for missions lasting 10 days or more. The
company has booked eight flights to date sending seven wealthy
citizens into space. Singer Sarah Brightman is currently undergoing
training, and she is slated to fly with Space Adventures this year.
Space Adventures will soon offer a journey around the far-side of
the moon, coming within 62 miles of the moon's surface. The first
lunar mission is scheduled to launch by 2018.
Rounding out our list of places where we earthlings can get a taste of the world beyond our own are: Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England; Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico; Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, Canary Islands, Spain; and Australian Astronomical Observatory, New South Wales, Australia. To read the "out-of-this-world" details on these and Cheapflights.com's complete Top 10 Space Tourist Hot Spots, visit www.cheapflights.com/news/top-10-space-tourist-hot-spots.
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Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 17.5 million visitors a month -- plus 7 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.
Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.
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