Space tourism, once a prominent part of sci-fi movies, is becoming a reality. And some companies are already competing neck and neck to profit from this new revenue avenue. Traveling to space for recreational purposes rather than for a scientific agenda is a dream of many today. Well, if Dennis Tito could do live his dream at 60, why can’t you?
Technology has virtually made everything possible, and space tourism is gaining popularity like never before. With SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, investing heavily in this sector, space travel will soon become a new travel category altogether. Blue Origin’s New Shepard flight is already open for bids for its seats. SpaceX, in partnership with a Japanese entrepreneur, is planning a project “dearMoon,” where 8 civilians stand a chance to travel around the moon in 2023.
Space tourism types
There are different types of space tourism: orbital, suborbital, and lunar. Orbital spaceflights can take space tourists to the Earth’s orbit. Space Adventures is the only company to have conducted orbital space travel since it is quite expensive as rockets have to burn a lot of fuel to reach orbit. Suborbital launches are cheaper compared to orbital launches. The rocket reaches the edge of space where tourists can experience weightlessness and enjoy incredible views, post this they return to Earth. Suborbital explorations are comparatively less expensive. Lunar tourism, as Musk’s dearMoon project describes, is all about “flying a single circumlunar trajectory around the Moon.”
Who can be a space tourist?
Being financially sound enough to shell a few million dollars for space travel is just one part. Your fitness and training time are two crucial factors that decide your eligibility as a space tourist. For orbital launch, you must be cable of handling the stresses of launch and reentry to Earth, the effects of microgravity you’ll experience, and confinement inside a small space vehicle. It can be challenging for even the fittest individual. Additionally, you must also undergo requisite training within the allotted time period before you’re deemed fit for space tourism.
The future of space tourism
Space tourism can be worth a whopping $3billion by 2030. With prices likely to drop in the future and space travel will evolve into a regular tourism activity. More and more space enthusiasts can enjoy the process of launch, weightlessness, and landing in the future.
To foster space travel, several companies are focusing on developing processes and technology to participate in such operations. Some companies are also toying with the idea of a space hotel, propelling travel to space as a full-fledged tourism activity. For instance, Orion Span is a company that aims to build the Aurora Station that will be an orbiting hotel with all facilities so sovereign nations can enjoy cheaper access to space. Another company, Zero 2 Infinity plans to offer a suborbital experience via high altitude balloons! Yes, tourists can fly up to 36km in these balloons and enjoy a spellbinding view of the Earth from above.
Space tourism will gain massive popularity in the coming years and revolutionize how travel and tourism sector completely! Companies are brainstorming on newer and cheaper ways of exploring space and making it accessible to the common people very soon. The world indeed is shrinking rapidly, thanks to technology. And, we’re just a few years away from experiencing space in all its eternity.
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