Commercial space tourism seems to be dragging its heels after the initial excitement. No doubt it’s coming within the next couple of decades, but while we patiently save up for the $250,000 (£175,000) ticket, this new space-themed rollercoaster-VR hybrid could be the next best thing.
“Galactica” hopes to open in April 2016 at the Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire, England.
The ride is a three-minute-long, 840-meter (2,755 feet) flight through a VR-simulated cosmos, capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 kilometers per hour (47 miles per hour).
Unlike a conventional rollercoaster, each rider will be equipped with a virtual reality headset, allowing them to experience forces of up to 3.5gs while they feel they’re flying through the cosmos. Pretty awesome.
The ride is actually a rebrand of the theme park's existing “Air” rollercoaster, which opened in 2002, the BBC reports. Guests ride this rollercoaster lying face-down, so it is expected “Galactica” will also ride in this prone position.
In a statement, Alton Towers said: “An onboard artificial intelligence guides them from the launch pad up into space, flying and looping beyond the stars, banking through wormholes and speeding across undiscovered galaxies, revealing the wonders of the cosmos in stunning clarity.”