Fla. resident prepares for suborbital spaceflight on Virgin Galactic

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Would-be space traveler Daniel Hardin of Lighthouse Point, Fla., is preparing for his greatest adventure -- a suborbital rocket ride on a Virgin Galactic spaceship.

As told to Irene Klotz:

How did you find out about this opportunity?

About three years ago, I read stories about Virgin Galactic developing its spacecraft and selling tickets for future flights. Once I was familiar with the conditions and the cost, I didn't struggle with the decision.

What's the attraction?

I grew up with the space program and many times dreamed of what it would be like to be on board the rockets that take off from Cape Canaveral.

Is this out of the box for you?

I love all kinds of air travel. I like going up in balloons. I flew on the Concorde twice. I flew around the world, just so I could fly in the new luxury Airbus A380. This will probably be my greatest adventure.

What do you want from the experience?

I'm doing this purely for the enjoyment and for the connection to my childhood. This is close to what Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom experienced, although it's going to be a good bit nicer. I'm not expecting champagne and sushi while I'm floating around, but it will be very comfortable, I'm sure.

Did you pay the full $200,000 cost upfront?

I've prepaid $175,000.


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