In simple terms, space tourism refers to the practice of human beings travelling to outer space using a spacecraft for various reasons and purposes. In all totality, there are three types of space tourism that can be segregated to form categories. These are Orbital Tourism, Suborbital Tourism and lastly, Lunar Tourism.
Space tourism began in 1990 when a deal was struck between the Russian company ‘MirCorp’ and the American company Space Adventures Ltd.’ This industry is a speciality for the flying business that gives sightseers the golden opportunity to become space travellers and experience space tourism for sporting, recreation, or business purposes. Since the space tourism industry is incredibly costly, it is an instance of a tiny fragment of customers that are capable and ready to buy this heavenly travelling experience. Moreover, space tourism has made it easy for these travellers to select where they should go for their space vacations. Currently, high-altitude jet fighters and atmospheric zero-gravity flights are monetarily accessible to sightseers in the space travel industry. When will space tourism be affordable is yet to be known, but the prospect of it is enticing enough, isn’t it?
What does the Space Tourism Industry Hold for Us in the Future?
Source: Bloomberg.com | Rocket headed to outer space
There are massive opportunities for growth in space tourism’s future. The industry is set to be worth at least $3 billion by 2030. Technological advancement is pivotal to this growth since a few influential trends would spur it on, both on and off our home planet.
Commercial suborbital trips
There is a ton of discussion surrounding suborbital trips in the space tourism industry, with a couple of companies such as Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic looking into it. The shuttle systems for both are designed such that passengers fly over 50 miles above Earth’s atmosphere. This enables passengers to experience the feeling of weightlessness for a couple of minutes.
The opportunities for tourism and scientific research in space are boundless. However, there are many concerns surrounding diminishing customer interest in space tourism due to the high costs since they might cause the market to deflate. This would cause problems since diminishing interest in the industry would also have a negative impact on the research and development opportunities for the market.
However, commercial suborbital trips might be emerging for the general public, with SpaceX planning to use its Starship rocket to fly people worldwide in a matter of minutes. Therefore, the emerging industry of space tourism could be the first step towards long flights and travel around Earth services by space.
Vacations in the orbit
Government agencies and private space companies worldwide are also looking into orbital vacations, which means passengers stay in space for at least one full orbit. This is part of a bigger goal to establish colonies on the moon and Mars.
Lunar-based hotels and other infrastructure centred around in-space tourism are also bound to become a huge phenomenon as the industry progresses, and more big-name companies enter the market.
Broader opportunities on Earth
There is a rapid increase in private companies looking into space tourism for the future since it would provide broader opportunities for investment. Engineers and developers across all fields are looking into space tourism as the next big thing since it would provide boundless scope for innovation. This would eventually also lead to lesser barriers to entry and demystify the industry that many fear entering, ultimately bringing space travel to the everyday citizen.
The widespread positive effect on Earth is also not to be taken for granted since increased space tourism would create new jobs and encourage a new solar-based energy infrastructure. It would also open up people’s minds to outer space.
The companies that are leading space tourism
The space tourism industry sounds very interesting and exciting. It does, however, require some big bucks, bringing in big names leading this industry in 2022.
- Virgin Galactic
Part of the more extensive Virgin Group, the Virgin Galactic space travel industry organisation intends to give ordinary suborbital space trips to paying clients. Its current space plane, VSS Unity, entered space in December 2018 as a component of its trying cycle, bringing the chance of space flight business nearer.
As of now, the organisation has a broad holding up of individuals wishing to become space sightseers, with an underlying store of £200,000 expected to get a put on the form. Be that as it may, Virgin Galactic has not been altogether without issues, including various postponements and the in-flight loss of its VSS Enterprise space plane back in 2014.
SpaceX is now incredibly experienced with regard to sending off space-bound flights, and the organisation is also expecting to jump aboard the space tourism industry. Unlike most organisations working in this field, they focus on the lunar travel industry and different types of room travel reaching out past our planet Earth.
Back in the year 2017, the organisation’s infamous pioneer, Elon Musk, declared his goal to send two paying clients out travelling around the moon on a debut lunar travel industry mission. The mission was at first anticipated in the year 2018, however, it has since been deferred to a later date. SpaceX has not yet uncovered any estimating procedure or any rundown for lunar excavations.
- Blue Origin
Until now, Blue Origin has been the principal contender for Virgin Galactic as far as suborbital space tourism in the travel industry is concerned. Nonetheless, their contribution is based around a more conventional rocket known as the New Shepard, which takes off and lands upward, and their targets are to work towards orbital space flight.
Likewise, with Virgin Galactic, the space tourism industry organisation has played out a few practices runs and intends to place paying travellers into space soon. Nonetheless, not at all like Virgin Galactic, they have not begun taking cash for tickets. Their arrangements include putting up to six travellers on each flight, with space to perform weightless somersaults.
Let’s make pros and cons list for space tourism
As can be suspected, the advantages to exploring the opportunity for more people to have access to the ultimate space trip are many:
- Space tourism prepares the individual for potential hazards and dangers that may come their way.
- It provides individuals with knowledge of the world beyond and helps them understand the solar system, galaxy, and universe in a better way.
- It also provides the individual with certain raw materials that may be new to the knowledge of man.
However, there are many glaring cons with the space tourism industry as well:
- Space tourism is extremely expensive; hence, not everyone can afford it.
- It can sometimes be dangerous and can cause death if the individual is not prepared well for handling themselves in the atmospheric pressure of outer space.
- It pollutes intergalactic space and also around the planet.
Despite the challenges, all this talk is bound to excite people about a potential space trip. This begs the obvious question: when will space tourism be affordable?
Space tourism future for the general public
Is space always going to be the playground for high-net-worth individuals, or will the general population ever get to experience the ultimate trip to space?
After conducting surveys and handling research, it is predicted by scientists that by the next twenty years, space tourism should be made affordable for the general population. Many people that stand alive today will probably be able to see themselves in outer space in the next two decades. Be it an orbital tour, a suborbital one or a lunar one, it is guaranteed that people will be able to experience the joys of flight if they wish to.
Fast facts about space tourism!
- As suspected, a space shuttle launch is highly expensive and can go up to 450 million dollars for one single person.
- The first space shuttle to have been launched was the German V2, back in the year 1942.
- The first woman to have entered space was Valentina Tereshkova back in 1963.
- The first U.S. spacecraft which was able to land on the moon was in the year 1966.