For those who still need proof that the future is already here, consider this news: since yesterday the world has available a commercial spaceport in New Mexico, open to tourists who want (and can, especially economically) to take a nice trip among the stars.
The very concept of 'Spaceport' is one of those science fiction things: in books and films there is always someone who goes to pick up their spaceship at the port space, don't you think? From today with a tall bundle of money so that someone could be me. Or one of you, I know.
Well: Virgin Galactic launched its space race yesterday, inaugurating Spaceport America: a cross between passenger terminal and hangar for a pair of WhiteKnightTwo, those 'white knights' (this is the name of the spacecraft developed by the pioneering company) that will take the first tourists to the stars. The complex also includes a training park for astronauts and passengers, and the control center. Richard Branson, finance magnate and eccentric visionary, launched his jewel by lowering himself barefoot from a rope suspended in front of its facade: within a year, at most two, he will be the first official passenger of his space company (in the company of his cute guys, hoping everything goes well).
If this intrudes you, be prepared to pay a security deposit of € 15.000 and approximately € 150.000 for a couple of hours of flight with 6 sub-orbital minutes in weightlessness. Little check-in, few queues: it's all in the beginning.
And it's no longer science fiction, folks.