A cash strapped NASA has announced that it is in talks with a number of budget airlines to launch it’s Astronauts to the International Space Station when the Space Shuttle is retired later this year. The agency hopes that the airlines can apply their cost cutting business model to space flights resulting in a low ticket price but with Astronauts providing their own space suits, paying extra for bringing a satellite on board, and a $100 charge each time they use the space toilet. NASA has admitted that it’s recently launched Ares 1-X spacecraft was just a bunch of fireworks with some cardboard tubes stuck on top so President Obama’s recent state of the Union address has directed them to look to the private sector to fly astronauts to the space station.
Astronauts are said to be concerned that a budget airline flight advertised as being to the space station might actually land on the moon, requiring them to take a long bus journey to their intended destination.
Representatives of Easyjet and Ryan Air have been meeting with Nasa officials to thrash out the details of a deal which could see orbital flights launched from Luton or Stanstead as early as 2015. The local councils of both sites are said to be keen to see the inward flow of investment, jobs, and business rates that such a scheme could bring, but local residents are less keen. A protest group called Stop Luton Space Port is already organising against the planned development, citing noise issues and safety space shuttle has the explosive potential of a small atom bomb.” Explained a spokesman concerns. “NASA launch the shuttle many miles away from people because a fully fuelled for the group. “If something like that exploded in Luton it could cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage”.
The airports authority BAA is said to be keen on the budget spaceport, seeing the sales potential of putting a duty free shop within easy reach of the Russian crews on the space station, while various Pizza chains are said to be bidding for the franchise to supply the American crews with take outs in orbit.