Nasa debut vintage-inspired space vacation posters
Advertisements from the Exoplanet Travel Bureau...
Nasa has produced a series of vintage-inspired travel posters that make the futuristic concept of space tourism seem like a reality from a bygone era. The three stylised posters adopt the voice of the invented, Exoplanet Travel Bureau, advertising trips to would-be intergalactic travellers to three real-life, distant planets. They have been created by staff at the space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in celebration, and to highlight, the discovery of 1,000 planets by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope (many of the newly discovered planets take their name from the impressive equipment used to find them).
The three planets that feature are: HD 40307g – with an intense gravitational pull. Skydiving seems to be the main attraction here, although that might be one fast fall. The planet is distant enough from its sun to potentially support life and exists 44-light-years (which is about 264 trillion miles) away from us – we can only imagine the jet lag.
An extrasolar planet that is composed of gas, rock and ice – Kepler-16b – orbits two stars, making it an extrasolar planet so holiday makers who enjoy a good sunset view would be sure to head straight here to witness double sunsets during their visit. The two suns also mean that visitors would cast a double shadow.
The final poster shows Kepler-186f, which is approximately the same size as Earth and reportedly in a "potentially habitable zone". Kepler's sun is redder than ours and it causes vegetation to be a heady vermilion red, completely different to the greens we are used to. No doubt the green-fingered (or should we say would-be 'red-fingered') botanists would be the first to check in for a flight here.
While the Exoplanet Travel Bureau is unlikely to be taking any bookings during our lifetime, civilian space tourism is becoming more and more attainable. Richard's Branson's Virgin Galactic is one of the most famous endeavours, yet has experienced a string of difficulties in launching, and, well, launching. However, competing firms, such as Space Adventures, which has successfully sent seven private individuals, willing the pay the hefty fare, into space, are keeping the dream alive. And the Spanish company Zero2Infinity has released plans to open up its zero-emission Bloon, helium capsules, which are capable of "near space flights" later this year.