Space Tourism is the one of the fastest-emerging industry. Companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue origin are already making waves in the industry. In past many other companies have also promised but most of them failed miserably to deliver on their promises as the field is expensive and requires cutting-edge technologies. A total of Seven people have gone to space before.
American Multimillionaire Dennis Tito being the first Space tourist in 2001, flying to ISS at a cost of $20 million and few others after him and after that no space tourist has flown since 2009. After almost two decades of R&D and recent advancement in rocket technologies have given hopes for a brighter future.
Private Funding pushing The industry to New Heights
Billionaires are taking on the Industry with Innovation and huge Private funding. Reusable Rockets are making this pursuit affordable. On December 13, 2018 Virgin galactic conducted their first trip to near space, they took the Virgin’s spaceplane VSS unity to an altitude of 82.7 Kilometers.
According to Business Insider, Founder of virgin group of companies and virgin galactic Richard Branson wants to send people to space every 32 hours by 2023 for approx $250,000 which roughly approximates to ₹ 1,78,74,375. Virgin galactic has already sold 700 tickets so far and unlikely to accept more reservation till 2021 due to backlog.
Blue Origin’s founder Jeff Bezos has been making waves with his reusable New shepard rocket which has flown a total of 10 times as of January 2019. Now Blue Origin is aiming at launching humans in space for the first time before 2020.
Who can Afford Space Tourism
Interest in space tourism is peaking interests of a lot but It is worth pointing out that It is not likely to be affordable in the forseeable future and only super-rich are going to afford it, at least for now space tourism is very expensive. Virgin galactic is targeting audiences whose bank balance is around $10 million.
It is also physically demanding, which directly implies that only those people are going to get a chance to experience the space who pass fitness tests and undergo rigorous training program during flight preparations.
Types of Space tourism
Suborbital spaceship will take its passengers at an altitude of around 100-160 Kilometers often referred to as Edge of space before returning to Earth. It is more affordable than the later one. Passengers will experience 5 to 6 minutes of weightlessness and a view of space and Earth’s Curvature.
Orbital Space tourism is not so popular as it is a niche industry at the moment and has only been performed by the Russian space agency Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities commonly referred as ROSCOMOS. The cost of Orbital space tourism is in the range of whooping 20 millions dollars to 35 millions dollars.