Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel to space?
That option could soon be available to everyday citizens.
Former astronaut and retired Naval captain, Jeff Ashby, spoke to students at LCCC about space and the future of space exploration.
Famously referred to as the final frontier, space largely remains a vast mystery.
"I grew up with images of the early space flights, became fascinated with them," Ashby said.
It was the image of Neil Armstrong in the summer of 1969, when Ashby was a teenager, that stuck with him.
"It just went from there. It went from really a dream or a fascination to a dream to a goal," Ashby said.
Jeff Ashby went on three missions into space during his time as an astronaut and now builds and launches rockets for the company Blue Origin.
He spoke to students at LCCC about his work and the opportunities out there for them.
"Pursuing their education is important and it will open doors for them. There's some very, very exciting work in the space industry for sure, but other places out there as well when they graduate," Ashby said.
Ashby's work with rockets is helping make it possible so that someday anybody that has the means will also be able to travel outside the Earth's atmosphere.
"We are developing, currently a sub-orbital tourism system to fly people at a relatively low cost into space for a brief space experience of a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of the Earth limb."
The current cost of travel is around $200,000 per person. He's working to make it more affordable.
"I think realistically as far as I can see that's about the price at a luxury car is about as low as we could get," Ashby said.
The passion Ashby once had for becoming an astronaut he now has for making it possible for others to experience space.
"To give everyone that wants to go to space an opportunity to do that," Ashby said.
Ashby was a part of a successful test mission earlier this week which means affordable commercial space trips could be just over the horizon.