When, during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key penned his immortal lyrics – that the glare from rockets and bombs illuminated the flag, demonstrating that the battle had not been lost to the British – little could he have known that rockets would have a very different application 200 years hence. Indeed, here in the futuristic world of 2018, rockets are usually more about space travel than warfare, and companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are leading the way into a future with no limitations.
With that in mind, we thought the 4th of July was a great time to take a look at the spectacular space adventures offered by American companies for a handful of lucky jet-setters looking to step into a new atmosphere of travel. Although you might not be able to take advantage of these star-spangled excursions today, in just a few 4ths of July from now, you might be able to watch the celebratory fireworks from a big screen TV on none other than an orbital space hotel.
Read on for the five rocket-centric stories featuring U.S. based companies that are launching us into an era of space exploration like never before.