WHO WILL BE THE FIRST SINGAPOREAN TO BE SENT TO SPACE IN THE SPACE CAPSULE?
A local company IN.Genius (Innovation.Genius) unveiled the space capsule hoping to send the first Singaporean into space! WOW…. I was really curious when I saw this Facebook post on my friend’s page and knowing that he is one of the candidates vying for this golden chance to be an astronaut! Jet Tan!!! GO GO GO!!!! You may be creating HISTORY!!! And I’m so proud of you! I’ve absolute trust in having this guy qualified for this great mission! From my understanding, he has been an amazing fighter pilot with RSAF and a senior commercial pilot with Singapore Airlines so he absolutely deserved this chance! I’m feeling all the jitters for you my dear friend…
Some information from how this capsule came about: The company’s founder Mr Lim Seng publicly announced the plan in 2013, said much progress had been made in the year and a half since his announcement. He plans to send the first Singaporean into space for the country’s 50th birthday as a gift to the nation.
“If we want to send normal people into space, we must think out of the box,” said Mr Lim. “Rocketry, liquid fuel technology, is only one means. And it’s a risky means.”
Mr Lim added: “By using stratospheric balloons, which has been used by the Russians, the Europeans and the Americans in the earlier days to launch equipment into space, it’s a viable, proven, safe way of flying into space. We’ve also put in redundancy upon redundancy in the craft, and exceeded the safety requirements by nine times, to make sure the space capsule is as safe as it can be,”
Launched by a stratospheric balloon, the capsule will be taken up to 20km into the stratosphere. It will cross what is known as the “Armstrong Line” – a region where a person’s blood will boil at body temperatures without proper equipment. After cruising for 30 minutes, the capsule will then return to earth by parachute and parafoil. The capsule is 2m by 2m by 3m and weighs 400kg without a pilot. It consists of a pressurised aluminium vessel, a steel outer frame with a fibre-glass shell, and crush pads. The pads alone are made of a 10-inch thick cell-paper honeycomb and a base of Kevlar, and can withstand up to 40 g-forces to provide shock absorption during landing.
The volunteer candidates for the space programme have been undergoing intensive training from re-breather trials at Resorts World Sentosa’s S.E.A Aquarium, to para-gliding in Vietnam. Twelve pilot candidates have been chosen from more than 150 applicants, and will be further whittled down before the launch.
“I’ve always dreamt of being an astronaut when I was young,” said Jet Chen. “And I was in the RSAF for 17 years as fighter pilot. That was the closest thing I could think to being an astronaut.”
He added: “And when the application to become the first Singaporean in space came about last year, I thought I couldn’t miss it for the world.”
This project has not receive any financial aid from industry or the public sector, Mr Lim said he prefers to sell Polaroid photos at S$1 each with the capsule rather than accept thousands of dollars in donation. He aims to work with the authorities to launch the spacecraft from Singapore and hopes to position itself to launch Singapore’s first space scholarship, “by citizens for citizens”, to encourage Singaporeans to study the heavens.
Very interesting isn’t it? I was at Resorts World Sentosa witnessing the very capsule that will be ferrying a Singaporean to space! It’s made with our Singapore colours in mind, RED AND WHITE! How thoughtful…. Just the thought of getting up there scares me. I do not have the courage to take up this challenge even if I’m given the chance…. I salute all the candidates who have been training hard and their courage in this great mission for Singapore! Especially the ladies!!! Good luck to all the candidates!!! You guys rock, seriously!
Do head down to Resorts World Sentosa, S E A Aquarium to check this amazing Capsule out! Only for the month of November! You get to speak to the candidates themselves about their experiences too! I met one! ( See picture below )
I also managed to capture a view of the founder, Mr Lim Seng (the man sitting just behind the capsule) Check out the pictures!