When the term “space tourism” is mentioned, many people tend to see it as a pursuit of the well-off in society. However, this argument is changing, and fast too, as more companies join the space tourism niche, helping to pull down the cost of touring the space. For example, Dennis Tito, the first-ever space tourist, paid $20 million, but now, Virgin Galactic is charging only $250,000. In addition to the dropping prices, here are other special benefits that come with the growth of the space tourism industry.
Helps to Dissociate Space Visits from Traditional Ties
The history of space exploration was first championed by the political elite and then supported by billions of taxpayer’s money. Years after Apollo 11 made a successful travel to and from moon; thoughts of any traveling to space are seen through the same viewpoint, making it a challenge for many people to envision ever getting from the earth. However, advances in space tourism are now freeing this critical industry from the traditional ties.
Today, unlike several decades ago, anyone can travel to space because of the growth in space tourism. Well, this can be seen in two ways. One, private companies can build space shuttles without relying on taxpayers’ money, and two, no special scientific background is needed. So, if you are healthy and can afford to pay, that is all that is needed to blast off to space.
Space Tourism will Inspire a New Generation of Engineers says Andrey Bokarev
At the start of the century, the technology used to create space crafts was mainly limited to government agencies. This was one of the reasons why NASA refused to take Tito, the first space tourist to space, but he got an opportunity after Russia’s Federal Space Agency agreed to book him a seat on Soyuz. Now, space tourism is ushering a new generation of engineers.
The focus of the latest spacecraft design engineers is to try and create more vehicles that people can rely on to easily to travel to space. Now these efforts are bearing fruits as evidenced by the diverse designs of space vehicles. In 2004, SpaceShipOne, one of the early privately designed space vehicles, managed to fly just beyond the edge of the space, and landed safely on earth. This excursion won Ansari X $10 million for convincing the public that space tourism was reality.
One of the space vehicles made by a new generation of engineers is Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Unity. The space vehicle is designed to drop from an engineered craft and then accelerating to space. Other space vehicles being worked on due to these engineering advances include New Shepherd by Blue Origin and Starship by SpaceX Company.
Offering a New Way to View the Earth
Bill Anders, one of the Apollo space mission crews, said that while the primary goal of the mission was to explore the moon, they discovered the earth. He goes on to describe the earth as a “marble against nothingness.” As more people fly to space, it will be a moment to behold as they give new accounts of how they viewed the earth from space.
As space tourism gains momentum, it is opening new opportunities for people to tour and experience traveling in a different way. It will also get cheaper and more enjoyable. So, are you ready to travel to space? The time is now right for it?