Is Battle Brewing Between British Royalnauts?

Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, on a typical day out in Central London. (Photo credit: Staszek99)

As part of our continuing effort to keep its readers up to date on all things Celebritynaut, Parabolic Arc is proud to present the latest British royal who is determined to fly into space.

Yes, it’s Harry!

No, not Harry Potter. Prince Harry. That House of Windsor guy.

It seems that the British Royal, now an active duty helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, is keen on undergoing astronaut training with NASA and flying aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. And better yet, for all you royal scandal lovers out there, Harry’s bid to become the first British royal in space could tear the British monarchy apart!

Maybe. Read on….

The Sun (that other British newspaper owned by Rupert “I know NOTHING!” Murdoch) reports:

Army pilot Harry, 26, is a closet Star Trek fan and “obsessed with space”,  according to friends.

They say he has already asked Sir Richard Branson’s son Sam for a seat on one  of the first Virgin Galactic sub-orbital flights.

But he hopes to become an honorary member of the elite US space programme  after returning from Afghanistan next year.

Harry doesn’t really need NASA training to fly on Virgin’s vehicle, just three days of instruction that would be a breeze for a guy who pilots attack helicopters in a war zone. The publicity would be great for NASA, though. The space agency has been struggling as of late to convince everyone that it still has a human spaceflight program.

Princess Beatrice

Anyway, I mentioned that whole Battle Royalnaut thing. It seems that Harry’s cousin Beatrice (she of funny hat fame) also wants to become the first British royal in space. That raises the prospects of a titanic struggle that could shake the monarchy to its core. Or at least give the tabloid press months of juicy stories.

So, who is likely to come out on top? Let’s look at each side’s strengths and weaknesses.

Prince Harry

Strengths

  • Higher rank: third in line to the throne
  • Flight experience: Apache attack helicopters in a war zone
  • Ability to pass NASA’s rigorous flight training

Weaknesses

  • The spare (less expendable)

Princess Bea

Strengths

  • Inside track: boyfriend is head of Virgin Galactic’s astronaut relations operation
  • Ability to pass Virgin Galactic’s much less rigorous training
  • Fifth in line to the throne (more expendable)

Weaknesses

  • Bad luck around powered vehicles: had BMW stolen after leaving keys in the ignition
  • Hat would likely clog life-support system

I don’t know. It’s pretty much of a toss up to me. What do you guys think? Please vote in our latest Parabolic Arc poll.

Who would you like to see become the first British royal in space?

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  • Excellent article! Sometimes the “space business” could be very funny, and it is always awesome to see how knowledged some journalists are. So, send Harry to Space! And the princess also (best with her excellent hat!). Best, all Royals! If the Queen will be “amused” about that? 😉

  • Paul451

    British male Royals usually do a tour in the armed forces just out of university. This is typically as “safe” as it can be made.

    Harry’s first tour in the British Army resulted in him becoming a tank commander in Afghanistan. (Ended when the press publicised it.) When William became a pilot, he was given transport choppers flying charity runs. Harry, OTOH, becomes a Apache pilot in Afghanistan.

    If Harry does enrol in NASA asteronaut training, his record suggests he’ll somehow end up as mission commander on first SLS flight. (Or at least doing an EVA on the ISS.)

    If that falls through, perhaps he can try out for SAS training?

  • As an American, I have little use for royalty. My country was founded on the explicit rejection of it. So, I tend to view it as a curious anachronism in a modern world. This is nothing personal, it’s just my birthright.

    That being said, I take my hat off to anyone who flies Apache attack helicopters in Afghanistan. That a British royal would do so when he could easily get lighter duty is damned impressive. He clearly understands his duty to Queen and country.