Are you looking for a great vacation to book for the astronomy enthusiast in your life? Well, being an enthusiast myself, I've compiled a list of great vacation ideas, ranging
from the ridiculously expensive to the more normal, affordable option.
1. Virgin Galactic's Spaceline ($200,000+)
Why not just skip all the planetariums and models and see the real thing? Starting in 2009, Virgin Galactic will be selling tickets on their one-of-a-kind "Spaceline". This trip
will have you flying at 3 times the speed of sound through the edges of the atmosphere to experience roughly 5 minutes in zero-g and the intense quiet hush of space.
2. Discovery Total Eclipse Cruise ($3,000+)
This upcoming cruise for August 2008 is an amazing 16-night or 13-night experience following the moon's shadow. The cruise takes you to different parts of the world to see the
eclipse of the sun, and also includes lectures and presentations throughout the entire trip.
3. ATX Astronaut Training Experience at Kennedy Space Center ($250)
Attend a one or three-day long astronaut training experience at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando. You and your family will get exclusive astronaut training, VIP tours of the
space center, exclusive ATX gear, viewing of simulated launches and even a chance to meet past astronauts!
4. Kennedy Space Center Real-Life Launch ($30)
See a real life launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando! These launches only happen a few times a year and tickets are limited, so be sure to check into this rare
experience as soon as possible!
5. NASA Tour ($0+)
Take a tour of your local NASA space center! Each site has different features, schedules and times. Have an experienced tour guide show you all the things that NASA is involved
in. It's an amazing learning experience! Some centers charge, and some do not, so phone ahead!
Note that this is just a small list of some of the more popular, well-known vacation spots. For those of you looking for something a little more basic, here's some great ideas:
1. Visit a planetarium! There are planetariums all throughout the world, most of which have various different events held during different times of the year. Check into your
local planetarium and see what you can find!
2. Visit a Space-themed museum! Whether it's a museum specifically catered to astronomy, or one just centered on the general sciences, you're sure to find a whole world of
space-related interests to fill your brain with!
3. Find a local astronomy convention! Now-a-days, there are conventions for all types of interests, including astronomy! Do a search for one locally, or make a whole trip out of
it and go somewhere exotic! Either way, you'll be sure to find a few days full of panels, exhibits and more!
4. Start, or find, a local star-gazing event. Get a bunch of other enthusiasts together to discuss the wonders of space, and do some star-gazing. Many planetariums or
observatories tend to host these types of parties as well.