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Space travel becoming reality, Utahns eager to board flights to space

Blue Origin, the stealthy company founded by Amazon's billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, just launched another test flight of its tourism rocket as it steadily inches toward sending paying customers into space. (Photo credit: Blue Origin via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Space travel is becoming a reality and there are Utahns eager to board flights to the moon. Especially after billionaire Jeff Bezos and his crew landed safely following their trip to space on Tuesday.

Bezos’ crew consisted of himself, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen and his younger brother Mark Bezos, the co-founder of a private equity firm.

So far, the list of citizen astronauts who have been to space is fairly short, but there are some Utahns who hope that list to board flights to space will get much longer. 

Some Utahns eager to board flights to space

Speaking to the Deseret News, astronomy educator and NASA solar system ambassador to Utah, Patrick Wiggins said he would love to make the trip into the inky blackness of space.

“The fact that they’re going to open it up to more people is good. The fact that they’re trying to bring the cost down, that’s definitely good. I hope I live long enough to get on a Blue Origin rocket. I’ve emailed them and I’ve got a savings account.”

Wiggins is 72 years old and said he has contemplated selling his house in order to get on a space flight. “I so badly want to go.”

Wiggins is not the lone Utahn who looks forward to the day space travel will be available to most people not just the wealthy.

The Deseret News also spoke to Clark Planetarium’s associate director of education and exhibits, Duke Johnson who said the thought of a space flight is exciting.

“I think what it does is, it opens up that frontier to a lot of people who could really never have hoped to get into space at all before,” he said

Both Wiggins and Johnson say that day of better access will come, but it’s unclear how soon.

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