Space Cadet: Bob Geldof will wear tricolour in space
BOB Geldof will wear the tricolour in space, he has revealed
“I will wear the tricolour,” he said in an interview with 2FM’s Ryan Tubridy. “There is no question of that. I am not nationalistic but I am proud of being Irish. I will be proud of being the first Irishman to leave the planet.”
The Live Aid organiser said that he won’t be humming the national anthem when he takes off because “I don’t know the words but I will mark the occasion.”
However, Dubliner Geldof has said that he will be proud to be the first Irishman in space and plans to mark the occasion by wearing the flag.
The 62 year-old singer of the Boomtown Rats revealed yesterday that he will travel into the heavens during 2014 in a one-hour commercial space flight with private company Space XC.
The opportunity arose after he agreed to do a corporate gig in London next month.
“I didn’t want the hassle of doing it – I’ll be in Africa at the time and I didn’t want to fly back. So they asked me if I wanted to go into space. And I was like yeah!”
Geldof says that reactions have been mixed to his forthcoming visit, due for the “third quarter of next year”.
“Women have looked at me silently with reproach and bemusement. My missus (French actress Jeanne Marine) said ‘what are you doing?’ But every bloke I’ve told about it has just said ‘Wow” But is there anyone who really wouldn’t take this opportunity?”
Taking off from a normal runway, the Dubliner will be a passenger in a Lynx Mark II shuttle powered by four rocket engines.
However, the privately built spacecraft will then accelerate to a speed of almost Mach 3 – about 2,200mph – within three minutes.
And at an altitude of nearly 60km (37 miles), the pilot will switch off the engines with the crew experiencing weightlessness for several minutes.
Passengers will be “in a place where the sky is completely black, despite the sunshine, where from here the earth's curvature is clearly visible from the cockpit.”
Geldof revealed that he came close to going to space before.
“Back in 1989 I had discussions about going into space with the Soviet Union. I nearly went to space in 1989 with the Russians. But unfortunately it didn’t happen because the Soviet Union fell apart before I was due to go. It was for a TV thing that the BBC wanted me to do.”
Geldof revealed that he got as far as discussing spending a year in training back in 1989 to do the visit.
“They told me I would have to go to Star City for a year’s training. I thought was cool because the kids could learn Russian, I could do an album abnd the missus could do a documentary and then we’d do it. That was all on and then the whole Soviet system came unravelling.”
Training for his new space flight was due to start next weekend but was called off due to technical hitches.
“I was meant to start training on Sunday in Holland but the simulator for the flight broke down which does not bode well for the flight. I was just I could get going. I just want to be strapped down and set off. I don’t want to know what is coming. In fact I hate all those types of aircraft rides in the fairground.”