RPI’s Dean of Science examines future of travel and science after Bezos and Branson launches

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Tuesday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos became the second billionaire to make it to the edge of space.

Now that Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson have both made the trips, the sky is hardly the limit when it comes to adventures into the world of science and commercial space travel. NEWS10 ABC’s Anya Tucker asked Dr. Curt Breneman, Phd, who is Dean of the School of Science and professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for his take on the adventures.

Dr. Breneman told Anya that as far as business travel goes, most of us won’t be booking a trip anytime soon. However, the spacecrafts may be perfect for future orbital vacations.

“Vacation travel. Potentially orbital hotels. That’s actually something that somebody had actually described,” he said.

Anya: “So you are basically hanging out, and you are looking at the earth, and that is your vacation destination?”
Breneman: “That is pretty much what that concept would be.”
Anya: “How would this open up the world of research in ways that will directly impact us?”
Breneman: “Well, I would say there’s been a lot of interest on microgravity work. It’s possibly that under microgravity conditions — in which people or objects appear to be weightless — there would be some therapies that wouldn’t work as well on earth. It is tremendously inspiring to see things that can happen based on a vision.”

Dr. Breneman spoke of dreams that decades ago seemed like science fiction and have now been turned into reality.

Remember Star Trek?

“Think about how many things, besides maybe warp drive and transporters, that have actually happened as a result of that. Those little communicators? Well, guess what?” said Breneman talking of cellphones.

He adds that it all took vision.

“And so I think we need to keep people dreaming. What’s the most exciting thing that I can think about that might be possible some day? And then go ahead and make it possible.”

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