Space! The Bay’s final frontier

Space travel?

No thank you. The closest this blonde is getting to space travel any time soon is Disneyland and Space Mountain. A couple dozen times.

But from the looks of things, there are Bay Area residents ready to make that giant leap into the final frontier.

BCN reported this week that not one, but five travel agencies are accredited to book clientele for future trips into outer space. Saratoga earth- and now space-travel agent Turley Garrett believes outer space voyages could “blast off within the year or so.” Garrett herself has sold three tickets into the inner reaches of outer space.

Space travel pioneers Virgin Galactic have already sold more than 450 tickets for two-and-a-half hour rocket tours at $200,000 a pop. Now, that’s some serious ched’ to throw down for what sounds like a pretty skinny slice of space.

Virgin’s craft is expected to provide about six minutes of weightlessness about 68 miles above the Earth’s surface. Space “begins” about 62 miles at the Kármán line.

And yes, Virgin Galactic is part of Virgin Group, owned by gazillionaire Richard Branson who plans to be part of the “inaugural” flight into the suborbital void. Those Virgin Mobile ads, with Branson floating weightlessly in a space-borne rocket? Not that far from being true.

Travel agents like Garrett have become contractors to offer space travel packages to customers. They are even required to experience g-force space simulators as part of their licensing.

Progress was made this week in preparation for this next round of outer space escapades. SoCal-based SpaceX launched equipment to the International Space Station which successfully came back into Earth’s orbit on Thursday.

So, does this mean we can all start throwing down money and start counting down the days until our first space-cation?

You all can have fun with that.

Send me a postcard from Mars.