Sunday, February 10, 2008


In the week following the 1969 Moon landing, Air Canada launched a promotion booking free reservations for their first flight to the Moon. I immediately hustled down to their streetfront office in Regina to book a ticket, discovering from the helpful clerk (isn't it amazing how much Air Canada has changed) that I was the first person in the province to apply.

It was a beautifully warm Summer day, the height of vacation season. Dozens of customers came and went at the other wickets, purchasing real flights to real places, as my Air Canada guy manipulated whatever teletype/phone system they used back then to make sure I got on a flight that still hasn't been scheduled almost 40 years later.

In some ways, he was as excited by this diversion from his daily routine as I was by the prospect of traveling into space and an hour or so later he had my reservation confirmed. He promised that the ticket would follow in the mail and a week later it did.

What arrived wasn't the standard form red carbon booklet the airline used at the time, but a certificate with the Air Canada logo emblazoned across the Moon, assuring whoever read it that the bearer had indeed reserved passage for one "Return" trip to our closest heavenly body.

Every now and then, I've wondered if the manifest for that flight is sitting in some Air Canada exec's desk drawer as he or she methodically puts together the other elements necessary to take these patiently waiting passengers to their destination.

Now there's a cute little MOW concept with built in product placement for you. Oh, wait, science fiction, no Canadian network would accept the pitch...

Nobody is certain when tourist travel to the Moon will finally become a reality. But within the next year, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic hopes to begin sub-space flights. Tickets are $200,000 each, and unlike Air Canada, Sir Richard requires a $20,000 deposit with your booking. Still, more than 200 people have already booked and there are 85,000 on the "considering it" list (including me).

I mean, I'd be more than happy to wait for Air Canada to get their act together, but I'd also like to get into Space while I still look dashing in my astronaut suit.

The meek shall inherit the Earth. The rest of us are going to the stars.

Here's a sample of what's in store aboard Virgin Galactic.

Enjoy your Sunday.


Cunningham said...

The meek shall inherit the Earth. The rest of us are going to the stars.

Oh, now that's a pitch...

And I so wanted to hear the THUNDERBIRDS theme playing over that animation...and perhaps glimpse a puppet in the window.

Juniper said...

... so which envelope would that come from - culture or popular show? I think it should be culture, but man I'd love to see that MOW, especially if you wrote it, directed, produced and acted in that would be popular, no?....


Riddley Walker said...

You'd better reserve me a bloody part in that MOW, young man!

FYI, I'm also on the Virgin Galactic “considering it” list. I got all goggly-eyed excited when it was announced that Earth’s first spaceport was being built - how cool is that? ;-)