A galactic dive, if not into the deep depths of the universe, but at least to our neighboring celestial bodies, might be an idea askew as of now. But, companies have come forward to claim private space trips to the Moon, and have also promised a view of Mars up close, in the recent years.
However, most of these claims have proved to be false talks. But, we are still optimistic. The decade seems to bring with a lot more developments, making trips beyond Earth’s orbit a reality. But can it become OUR reality? Can general passengers really think of space tourism being possible for them?
Well, the cost is much more than our current daily airfare; way more for us to give the dream up altogether. Even if that wasn’t enough, our outer-space voyage has been interrupted by political compromises, and lack of ambition. This leaves us wondering, whether we will ever be able to walk on land other than earth. Some organizations have been working to make that a possibility.
Virgin is the first airline that has come up with an exciting opportunity for paying passengers to travel into space.
Space tourism is now becoming synonymous with Virgin Galactic, which is charging $250,000 for an experience of space weightlessness. Stephen Attenborough, the commercial director at Virgin Galactic said in an interview in 2019 that “We hope now to get into a regular cadence of space flights which will be historically unprecedented.”
Watch Virgin Galactic reach beyond Earth’s atmosphere for the first time here:
Xcor Aerospace also intends on similar promises with a $95,000 for a ride in its two-seater rocket ship. The cost itself is enough to bury ourselves into the surface, let alone even think of actually ever being able to make for the trip. But let’s keep the affordability factor aside and focus on what space tourism actually offers, which is an unparallel view of the World.
The History of Space tourism begins with Dennis Tito, the first-ever paying visitor in the outer space, made us believe that our outlandish dream of space travel can be true. He stayed out in space for almost eight days (ISS) and was deeply moved by the experience. “To see the Earth from space for the first time is probably the most thrilling experience of my life,” he told TV presenter David Letterman in an interview. Since then, several paying (those who had an upper hand at the availability of the resources) passengers have had their trip to space.
So, while most of us may think of space tourism as far-fledged for us, short flights might make it seem less distant. Blue Origins seems to be pushing itself in that direction. They fly you above the Karmin line (where we define space to start), and then you fall back to earth and land. The experience of weightlessness and an unbelievable view of the earth is, needless to say, a once in a lifetime experience.
“Vomit Comet” flights or the reduced gravity aircraft are now open to other passengers than astronauts, who mostly used it for training. Suborbital flights have a good chance as well, with XCOR and Virgin. Also, tourists have already been to the International Space Station (ISS) too, as we know.
Another interesting concept has been brought up by Elon Musk (that guy never lacks a long-term vision), but unfortunately, it isn’t open for general visitors. SpaceX concentrates on cargo transport, to not just ISS, but farther. Currently aimed at Mars, the trips would eventually lead to outer space as well.
As far as space tourism is concerned, we may shift from inter-continental to inter-space flights sooner than we anticipated. However, any step would be a giant leap for us as humankind, so currently, we root for the technology and development; the possibility of the general public actually having the experience, without shelling out butt loads of money, is still impractical.