Gazing at the Earth from space is a lifelong dream on the verge of coming true for Los Alamos astrophysicist Stephen Becker.
“It will be the highlight of my life,” said 60-year-old Becker, who holds a ticket on a commercial spaceflight with Virgin Galactic, expected to launch next year.
“The flight will last about two-and-a-half hours,” he said. “We’ll travel 100 kilometers, 61 miles, to the edge of space and the weightlessness at the top of the flight will last about five minutes.”
Becker is a private pilot. He explained that the X-15 rocket planes manufactured in the 1960s flew to 61 miles, whereas commercial airlines typically reach just six or seven miles.