The following article first appeared in New Scientist the 5th of May, 2001.
"They say the first 100 kilometres are the best. Moments after the door slides shut with a reassuring "ker-chunk", the acceleration takes hold, pushing you gently but firmly into your seat. Terra firma drops precipitously from view, and your internal organs groan in sympathy. The base tower seems endless as it slides past the window. Then you're in open sky, at first a seemingly infinite expanse of blue, but gradually darkening until the Milky Way appears in all its glory. And throughout, the shimmering blue pool that is the Earth curves away beneath you, a sight that was once the preserve of a privileged few."