Although we have been living in the Space Age for more than 50 years, traveling into space is still a rare thing. Only about 600 individuals have gone over the Kármán line, which marks the start of space at roughly 62 miles above Earth, and they were all sent there by the US or another country’s government. However, with the emergence of commercial spaceflight firms like Virgin Galactic and Space X, the ultimate frontier might soon be within reach of a much larger audience. In the next few years, spaceflight companies are aiming to launch private astronauts, often known as space tourists, on orbital or suborbital missions.
As space tourism takes momentum, adventurers will soon be able to get their excitement rush and crave space flight photos from the ultimate frontier. All you’ll need is a little bit of patience, and a lot of cash in hand (for the spaceflight ticket of course). Here’s a summary of the current situation.
Companies Offering Space Flights
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, launched by Richard Branson, both provide short “suborbital” flights of a few minutes. The crew capsule detaches and passes the Karman line of 62 miles before landing back on Earth using three parachutes. Virgin Galactic launches a spacecraft from a huge carrier plane that takes off from a horizontal runway. The spacecraft rises to a height of almost 50 miles before falling back down. Up to six passengers can “unbuckle” from their seats in both instances to feel a few minutes of weightlessness and enjoy the view of Earth from space. Currently, more than 600 people have joined up for the Las Cruces, New Mexico-based firm, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry, and famous scientist Stephen Hawking. The cost of a ticket is $250,000, and registration is available to anyone with that sort of cash available (I didn’t say you should have a lot of cash in hand for nothing).
Blue Origin on the other hand has earned approximately $100 million through selling tickets for future passenger flights, according to the billionaire Jeff Bezos. He even mentions that people’s demand to fly to space is way too high. Blue Origin now has two New Shepard rocket launchers on hand, one for research cargo flights and the other for passenger flights, at its Texas facility.
What to Expect As a Space Tourist?
For starters, the thrill of a rocket journey and the opportunity to experience weightlessness is what to expect. The rewards are also great since it’s something once we used to dream about and now becoming a reality. However, people believe that the most significant advantage of traveling into space is gaining a stunning new perspective on life about our planet. It’s a shift in the viewpoint that might have far-reaching consequences not only for individuals but also for society as a whole. Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides believes that over the next 100 years, a planetary perspective will be critical in addressing humanity’s biggest challenges. He even mentions that his company feels motivated to take others up to view that view, which is said to radically change one’s perspective about the earth.
So space tourism, can bring some drastic changes in one’s life, and also some great viewpoints of earth. Also, people would be able to travel quickly from one country to another.
What Type of Process to go through?
The possibility of a space tourism business appears to be quite intriguing. However, it offers a less difficult road to space than that taken by astronauts, who must complete higher education, extensive training, and highly competitive selection procedures. Because only a few nations have access to human spaceflight projects, astronauts must also be of the proper nationality. Only the rich countries who have spaceflight headquarters or companies within their country could currently benefit from space traveling. Human spaceflight requires a high level of safety. Approximately 3,400 functioning satellites and 128 million bits of debris are currently in orbit. Each day, hundreds of collision risks are averted by costly and complex movements or, if the risk is low enough, by operators waiting and hoping for the best.
Countries will need to implement tougher requirements to de-orbit satellites at the end of their lifetimes so that they burn upon landing if we add more human spaceflight to this traffic. It is currently allowed to de-orbit a satellite after 25 years or to place it in an underused orbit. However, this simply serves to postpone the problem in the future. Nations must also follow the 2019 United Nations guidelines on the “Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities” if they want their country individuals to travel to space. Or, do space travel business.