Polling for the Sunday Express by Redfield and Wilton Strategies found 62 percent of us would not go on such a flight even if we were offered a free ticket and spared the £180,000 fare. A mere three out of 10 want to go on the Virgin Galactic adventure.
Women were most reluctant to be shot skywards. Sixty-seven percent would turn down a free ticket, compared with 57 percent of men.
Sir Richard’s company has worked on the rocket plane for 17 years. Last week the entrepreneur travelled on it to a height of 53 miles and described looking down at our “beautiful Earth”.
Sophie Allan, head of learning and teaching at Leicester’s National Space Academy, said: “I would go up in a heartbeat. To ride that technology, to see our planet below me [is] something I personally have dreamed of for years.
“I am excited that the work of commercial spaceflight companies – as well as philanthropic organisations securing free or reduced places for some who cannot currently afford a ticket – will open up space to cheaper research and offer more people a chance to experience these outlook-changing opportunities.”
Elizabeth Anderson, chief executive of the British Interplanetary Society was encouraged that 30 percent of people would jump at the chance to go into space.
She said: “Space is one of the last great unknowns for all but a lucky few – the research indicating that around a third of people would voyage to the edge of space shows that the public are captivated by this adventure.
“Space tourism opens up near space to more people than ever, and the British Interplanetary Society is excited for how this will grow public awareness of Britain’s role in the space sector, including Mars rovers and missions to build a lunar base camp.”
Bolton North East Conservative MP Mark Logan, who sits on Westminster’s science and technology committee, would also go into space – and would like to use the opportunity to promote one of his town’s celebrated delicacies to the world.
He said: “If my constituents want to temporarily – you ain’t getting rid of me – send me to space and eat a Carrs pasty on arrival, then I’m happy to avail.”