The incredible amount invested in space travel over the last decade

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Private space travel is taking off, with around $265 billion having been invested in space startups since 2014. According to Space Capital, almost half of this sum went to companies in the U.S., while another 30 percent was invested in Chinese firms.

 

Infographic: The U.S. and China Lead The Space Race 2.0 | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

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Space 2.0 marks a new wave of space travel. The boom is primarily being shaped by private companies, including an increasing number of start-ups, which are combining the latest tech innovations with new business models.

 

In the past, space travel was financed almost exclusively by the state and operated by a few established companies such as Boeing, Airbus or Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, among others.

 

Founded in 2002 by Tesla founder Elon Musk, SpaceX is currently the leading company in terms of number of spacecraft launches. The company is known for a number of projects, including providing supply flights to the International Space Station (ISS), with its first manned flight having docked there at the end of May 2020.

 

SpaceX is also the pioneer of Starlink satellites, which are low orbit satellites intended to provide broadband internet to communities with little or no connectivity. As of August 2022, around 2,800 of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites orbited the earth. This is set to rise to 12,000 in the coming years.

 

On September 15, 2021, SpaceX took four space tourists into space for three days, marking the world’s first space mission without a professional astronaut. In the long term, SpaceX plans to colonize Mars.

 

 

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This article originally appeared on Statista.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

You can have dinner in ‘space’ at this recently opened Disney World restaurant

 

A new Walt Disney World restaurant has hungry guests lining up for permission to lunch. Space 220 opened Sept. 20 at EPCOT and “transports” guests 220 miles above Earth’s surface for lunch and dinner with interstellar views and otherworldly fare.

Ready to take off on this (virtual) adventure? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a trained astronaut for this journey into space. There’s a space elevator.

We checked out the new restaurant on opening day —  here’s a look at what it’s like to eat lunch or dinner, or just grab drinks, in space.

 

Disney

 

Guests check in to the Space 220 Departure Lounge right next to the Mission: SPACE ride in EPCOT’s Future World, then board a “Stellarvator” — a space elevator that zips you (virtually) 220 miles up to the Centauri Space Station.

Brooke Geiger McDonald

During your “ascent,” you’ll watch EPCOT shrink and see an astronaut’s-eye view of the state of Florida take shape as you approach the Space Station.

You can see what the Stellarvator ride is like in this video on TikTok.

 

Brooke Geiger McDonald

 

Once you’ve docked, you’ll make your way to the expansive dining room with sweeping panoramic views of Earth below and the final frontier beyond. The “windows” look down at Earth, which changes appearance from day to night. In the afternoon, the moon comes into view. Come at sunset and you’ll even see the darkness sweep over the Earth as the sun goes down and the city lights come on.

Disney

Passing ships and space rocks float by, along with floating astronauts, space tourists and even a dog in a space suit. While Space 220 isn’t Star Wars themed, Disney is never one to leave out Easter eggs, so you might spot astronauts having a playful lightsaber battle or playing with a toy X-wing.

 

Brooke Geiger McDonald

 

Wildly inventive cocktails and upscale cuisine are on the menu at Space 220Meals are prix fixe ($55 for a two-course lunch; $79 for a three-course dinner; $29 for a two-course kids meal at lunch and dinner) and courses are aptly named Lift-Off (appetizer), Star Course (entrée) and Super Nova Sweets (dessert).

Cocktails are the most out-of-this-world menu component. Choose from “Atmospheric Spirits” like the Atmospritz, which is poured at your table over a cotton candy cloud. The Planetary Punch, an otherworldly purple concoction of Bacardi Silver, Malibu, Blue Curacao, guava and coconut served over jagged ice cubes that look like crystals, bubbles away in your glass as you drink it.

Brooke Geiger McDonald

And for kiddos and those opting for a zero-proof cocktail, Moon Rocks is a bright blue blend of coconut, blue cotton candy syrup, lemonade, “moon dust” and “moon rocks,” served with a pack of Pop Rocks that sizzle and pop when you add them to your drink.

The dishes might sound exotic, but they’re mostly playfully named yet broadly appealing choices. Lift-Off appetizers include the Blue Moon Cauliflower — tempura fried cauliflower with housemade hot sauce and blue cheese “dust” (a fast favorite among early guests); Starry Calamari and Neptune Tartare.

 

Star Courses are crowd-pleasers like an 8-ounce filet mignon and roasted free-range chicken. The Bluehouse Salmon is the most experiential choice — it comes served in a covered dish that’s lifted at your table to release a puff of smoke. A delicate, smoky flavor permeates the plate’s tender glazed carrots, king oyster muffins, baby bok choy and perfectly cooked salmon. The vegetarian option is even more creative. Terra-Bolognese, corn linguine, tempeh ragu, macadamia nut “ricotta,” zucchini and mushroom, got a thumbs-up from all the meat-eaters at our table.

 

If you’re feeling extravagant, Space Station Supplementals are a la carte add-ons. For lunch, there’s the Galactic Lobster Globe ($18), Maine lobster salad with grains, greens, mango, avocado and a citrus dressing, topped with crispy wontons. At dinner, Space 220 offers a 1.5-pound baked whole lobster stuffed with jumbo crab ($20) or a 24-ounce bone-in ribeye ($18).

 

Desserts look more out of this world than the savory dishes. Lemon Mousse is a lemony sphere decorated with white chocolate rings and served with lemon custard, marinated blueberries and lemon curd. Chocolate Cheesecake is adorned with crunchy pearls, cookie crumbs, chocolate sauce and dark chocolate shards. And the surprise star of the dessert menu, a vegan carrot cake, is beautifully dotted with a decadent plant-based cream cheese that you’ll never believe is missing the dairy.

 

 

Brooke Geiger McDonald

 

Kids can choose a Star Course and dessert from the kids’ menu and can get a souvenir collectible cup for $3. All kids’ meals also come with collectible Space 220 trading cards.

Brooke Geiger McDonald

 

Brooke Geiger McDonald

 

Guests can also skip the full meal head to the Space 220 lounge for cocktails and “Flight Bites,” small plates like Astro Deviled Eggs, Short Rib Sliders and Chicken on Waffles. Lounge tables have a similar view to dining room tables and at the bar, you’ll face mirrors that reflect the windows into space.

Brooke Geiger McDonald

From plates that look like moon rock to servers who keep the story going, asking diners how they’re adjusting to the altitude and pointing out ships out the windows, the theming is never broken throughout the experience. Even in the restrooms, you’ll see a reassuring sign that they have things covered if there’s a gravity issue during your visit.

 

Brooke Geiger McDonald

 

If you’re hoping to make the journey to Space 220 on your next visit to Walt Disney World, the restaurant is only accepting walk-ins through Sept. 26. Beginning Sept. 27, lunch and dinner are by reservation only, while cocktails and Flight Bites in the lounge will continue to be for walk-ins only.

 

Brooke Geiger McDonald is a theme park journalist covering all things Disney and Universal. When she’s not screaming on the newest roller coaster or critiquing the cheese served with her Mickey pretzel, she’s busy breaking the latest theme park news on Twitter and Instagram.

 

This article originally appeared on SimpleMost.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

Brooke Geiger McDonald

 

Featured Image Credit: 3DSculptor/iStock.

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