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It sticks to stuff. The lack of gravity may affect the intraocular pressure in the eyes, changing their shape and making everything blurry. Bring a few pairs of reading glasses at different prescriptions to compensate. And Bring a Piece of Home. When you get to space, you look back at the planet and you get this cognitive shift that kind of changes you. You see all of civilization and humanity in one big marble. I took a baseball cap from my college and a pennant from my high school—different things that were sentimental to me were now off planet.

Long trips, however, will likely require some preparation. For example, long stays in space accelerate bone deterioration—and part of the remedy, per NASA, is resistance training. No, but you may undergo a pre-trip quarantine to keep terrestrial bugs from spreading in space, where medical resources are limited. They take up precious resources and the poor things would probably hate microgravity.

Plus think about the bathroom situation.

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Bite-size snacks to reduce floating crumbs. Fresh food is a logistical nightmare. This is also why VR can make people feel nauseated—so if you want to know how susceptible you might be, give VR a go before you leave. Expect to sponge bath. They are floating and you are floating inside them. The current era of space toilets use vacuums and offer a user-specific funnel for liquid waste and a seat with a small hole—only four inches in diameter—for the other stuff.

Navigating that four-inch hole can be tough, so astronauts practice on Earth with a mockup toilet that has a camera just under the rim.

To help align things. World View Enterprises Voyager: An eight-passenger capsule suspended from a high-altitude balloon that rises to just over , feet. Besides, the slow ascent promises to be much smoother than strapping onto a rocket. A pair of pilots then fly the rocket-powered craft and its half-dozen passengers to the edge of space, where they enjoy six minutes of weightlessness before strapping back into their seats for a long glide to a runway.


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The first crewed flight to space took place in December , and since it went well, paying customers could take off later in Blue Origin has said they are aiming for flights early this year, but tickets have not yet been put on sale. The company has never been shy about selling tickets to tourists, and their soon-to-be- proven Crew Dragon spacecraft will be a logical ride for orbital tourists with space hotel reservations.

Blue Origin New Glenn : The New Glenn rocket, a massive beast that will take payloads into Earth orbit and beyond, could certainly get people to the moon. And Blue Origin is designing a robotic lander, called Blue Moon. SpaceX Starship : With a design straight out of a sci-fi paperback from the s, the foot-tall Starship is designed to bring as many as passengers to far-flung destinations in the solar system. He intends to take six to eight artists on a trip around the moon. The probes have learned what we will come to know: Beyond the moon, beyond Mars, at distances from which no man could return—tourism blurs into exploration.

Popular Mechanics presents:. November 5, I am almost deaf to Earth now.

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Still that thin whisper in my antenna sends instructions, the engineers in mission control eking out another year, another month, another hour of discovery. Inertia never dies. There will come a time when I will tumble blind, my senses failing one by one until in the end only the shell of me will fall through darkness toward the stars of the constellation Pavo.

Still I will retain on eight-track tape cassettes the traces, written over and over, of all that I have seen and known. In the wake of Voyager 1, with these cameras I imaged the banded majesty of Jupiter, the Great Red Spot swirling under me as I plunged past, clouds of sulfur rising in geysers above the horizon of Io. At Saturn the rings sang like wind on a deserted beach, sang for no other audience but me while I soared past Hyperion.

After Saturn, I voyaged alone. Alone I witnessed what had been seen by no eye before, not human, not robotic. I was the first work of human hands to breach the sky above Uranus and its boiling ocean. I was the first to come among Oberon, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Miranda, and make of each a world distinct in all its scars of fault and fracture, the frozen lava flows of water, ammonia, and methane.

I saw all these and more. And still I alone have been there.

Then only Neptune lay ahead, deep blue as the sea, racked by winds of 1, miles per hour. Under a pallid, shrunken sun Triton vents plumes of gas into the sky, and wisps of cloud fall as nitrogen snow. All this I imaged. But all I saw only frames what lies ahead: untraveled emptiness receding forever. I am not done with exploration. In my thrusters I retain sufficient hydrazine to keep my dish turned homeward, where still I send this trickle of ones and zeroes at bits per second, over the eleven billion miles between me and Earth.

The engineers in mission control must be a different generation now, the children of those who sent me on this journey. Outside of mission control, humanity still goes about its business. I would not know what that business was, but for this golden disc I clutch to my central housing.

But though I see their faces, hear their voices raised in greeting, I do not know. What must a life be, lived always under familiar skies? Though my cameras are gone blind, still I sense the solar wind that pushes at my back. From ahead, cosmic rays strike at my remaining sensors. They come faster now, faster. I sense some break impending. The wind dies behind me; for a moment I luff in emptiness: this is the heliopause.

Interstellar space opens out before me. In the sudden silence, cosmic rays fall even faster from the darkness out ahead, from stars gone supernova, even from black holes in other galaxies where stars are shredded as they fall into infinity. Once part of those, they touch me now. I feel them, substantial on my sensors, pieces of the Universe. Now I know: Space is not empty. I am in it. I am not done with this Grand Tour.

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Though I have left the sun behind, still my dish points backward to Earth. Still my sensors reveal the universe to which I now belong, to which we all belong: the glory of it. So I hold tightly to this golden disc, with its record of the sights and sounds of Earth, and remember my makers, who sent me here, where they cannot yet go.

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