Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle For the Ride of Your Life

AUGUST 17, 1998: 

Interglobal Space Lines offers weightless experiences to the general public on board a "Vomit Comet" in Boise, Idaho. Starting at $1,950, anyone interested can enroll in weightlessness training courses which culminate in the ultimate trip on a KC-135. For more info, see their Web site at http://www.interglobal.org/isl/isl_home.html.

If that's not enough for you, the Civilian Astronaut Corps (http://www.mayflowerrocket.com/) is gearing up for its first journey into space, the Mayflower Expedition. Beginning on July 4, 1999, the Mayflower will take the first of many civilian passengers into orbit around the earth, enabling them to see the view of space and the heavens which astronauts have raved about for the past 37 years. Current ticket price is around $10,000, but the cost is scheduled to go up after October 1, 1998.

If you're too landlocked to take a galactic ride during your lifetime, consider going supernova in the afterlife. The Celestis Foundation (http://www.intrepid.net/celestis/foundation.html) offers a stellar alternative to getting plugged into the ground. For about the cost of a standard funeral service, Celestis will fly a portion of your cremated remains on a satellite which orbits the earth for 10 to 18 months, at which point it re-enters the earth's atmosphere, "blazing like a shooting star in final tribute." Last April, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Sixties pop icon Timothy Leary were among the more high-profile clients. Because Celestis is a nonprofit organization, you can leave this world content knowing that you've contributed to opening the final frontier. All proceeds benefit charities and educational organizations that promote the ongoing exploration of the universe.

- A.L.B.

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