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From Fiction to Reality: Commercial Space Tourism

From Fiction to Reality Commercial Space Tourism
Image Courtesy: Pexels

With exposure to movies like Star Wars and Star Trek, everyone has fantasized about going to space at least once in their lifetime. But space has always been too out-of-reach of a territory for a normal citizen, limited only to pioneering scientists and astronauts. But that fantasy has now become a reality as the history of space exploration has recently seen the emergence of a fascinating new chapter: the age of space tourism.

What counts as space travel?

The commercial practice of taking private individuals into space for leisure, adventure, or recreation is known as “space tourism.” It consists of different types of space journeys, namely orbital, suborbital, and lunar.

A new era of commercial space travel began with the crewed launches of Virgin Galactic’s supersonic spacecraft and Blue Origin’s reusable rocket. Both organizations have long-term goals that include offering regular and planned voyages for paying space tourists in the near future.

Which companies provide experience of commercial space tourism?

Along with Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, here are some other private companies that provide the experience of commercial space tourism.

Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson’s brainchild takes center stage with its sleek SpaceShipTwo, providing suborbital flights with breathtaking Earth views and a few minutes of exhilarating weightlessness.

Blue Origin

With its suborbital New Shepard rocket, Blue Origin is one of the more successful firms on our list, having flown 31 people into space. The New Shepard, Jeff Bezos’s spacecraft, can carry visitors on suborbital trips thanks to its reusable rockets and capsules.

SpaceX

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has been known to provide an experience of space tourism by organizing a tour of the International Space Station (ISS).

Axiom Space

Axiom is involved in several space-related projects, including NASA’s lunar spacesuit design and space station construction. But one of its most well-liked offerings is setting up private customer flights to the International Space Station (ISS) for US $55 million each.

WorldView

The company wants to provide a comfortable, hour-long journey to the edge of space using high-altitude balloons. Worldview was established in 2012 and focuses on remote-sensing balloons. However, with its Explorer capsule, the company is branching out into tourism. With a ticket price of US $50,000, Worldview offers some of the lowest prices in the industry.

Orbital Assembly

Above: Space Development Corporation’s (previously Orbital Assembly) Voyager Station is a projected luxury hotel in orbit. It can hold up to 400 people, and when the station rotates, it should provide “varying levels of artificial gravity,” an effect that has never been seen in space before. A trip to the space station lasting three and a half days would set you back a cool $5 million.

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