February 21st, 2006

krazy koati

You can take me higher than the diamonds in the sky

Well, saw that coming. They plan to open a spaceport in Changi, the eastern side of the island, by 2009. Space Adventures plans an ``integrated spaceport'' -- integrated is a very popular word here, almost as popular as ISO 9000, if you can imagine -- with a museum, public education and interactive (another popular word) visitor centre, astronaut training facilities, and suborbital spaceflights. The Singapore Tourism Board is quite happy with the idea.

Attractions are to include neutral-bouyancy tanks for simulated spacewalks, centrifuge experiences, parabolic flights for weightlessness experiences, jet aircraft flights, and suborbital flights starting from an M-55X carrier aircraft that I've never heard of before and a spacecraft to be designed by the Myasishchev Design Bureau, which I've also never heard of. They estimate it'll cost around S$200 million dollars, and they believe it'll generate about three billion dollars (Singapore dollars, I think) and around 5,000 jobs over ten years, which, well, I'll just let them carry on with that belief since I'd really like to see it built, and it'll keep people primed for the space elevator project.

There are similar spaceports to be built in the United Arab Emirates (yeah, saw that coming too) and Las Crusces, New Mexico. Unrelated but I believe curious is that I don't believe the city has a roller coaster, which I grant isn't a prerequisite but somehow seems connected. (Check that: Roller coaster databases indicate three should exist on Sentosa, although I've never seen them, possibly because one is, apparently, an indoor coaster.)

Trivia: X-15 vehicle 3 held the record altitude height for winged craft flight at 354,200 feet, until the Space Shuttle Columbia's first flight. Source: Transiting from Air to Space: The North American X-15, Robert S Houston, Richard P Hallion, Ronald G Boston. From The Hypersonic Revolution: Case Studies in the History of Hypersonic Technology, Air Force History and Museums Program.

Currently Reading: Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, by Edwin G Burrows, Mike Wallace.