Space tourism can be understood as human space travel for recreational objectives. There are many different categories of space tourism, comprising orbital, suborbital and lunar space tourism. To date, the orbital space category of space tourism has been accomplished only by Roscosmos. Work also proceeds towards evolving suborbital space tourism vehicles. This is being performed by aerospace companies like Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. In expansion, Elon Musk’s SpaceX declared in 2018 that they are planning on sending space tourists, including Yusaku Maezawa, on a free-return trajectory around the Moon on the Starship.
The commercial race to bring tourists to space is heating between Virgin Group and Amazon group. On 11 July 2021, Branson climbed80 km to reach the horizon of space in his piloted Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spaceplane. Bezos’ self-sufficient Blue Origin rocket was embarked on July 20, existing side-by-side with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
The launch indicated their offering to very affluent tourists, the chance to truly reach the farthest space. The two space trip packages will carry passengers with a quick ten-minute binge in zero gravity and glances of Earth from space. Not to be surpassed, Elon Musk’s SpaceX will contribute four to five days of the orbital trip with its Crew Dragon capsule later in 2021.
From 2001 to 2009, 7 space tourists prepared eight space flights aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station, brokered by Space Adventures in coexistence with Roscosmos and RSC Energia. The published price was in the span of US$20–25 million per trip. Many space travellers have contracted with third parties to accomplish specific research activities while in orbit. By 2007, space tourism was thought to be one of the firstest markets that would arise for commercial spaceflight. Space Adventures is the only firm that has brought paying passengers to space.
Russia delayed orbital space tourism in the year 2010 due to the surge in the International Space Station crew quantity, employing the seats for voyage crews that would formerly have been traded to paying spaceflight parties. Orbital traveller flights were set to begin again in 2015 but the one planned was halted indefinitely and none have occurred since 2009.
In 2019, NASA declared that beginning in 2020, the association strives to start enabling private astronauts to take off on the International Space Station, with the use of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Boeing Starliner spacecraft for civil astronauts, which is scheduled to be priced at 35,000 USD per day for a single astronaut, and a calculated 50 million USD for the conveyance there and back.
3 Extraordinary Leaders of Space Tourism
The theory of space tourism is thriving in popularity all the time, and there is an increasing number of companies immersing in activities within the space tourism sector. Let’s have a look over these 3 key companies:
1. Virgin Galactic
Part of the ampler Virgin Group, the Virgin Galactic space tourism business is striving to procure regular suborbital space flights for paying customers. Its recent spaceplane, VSS Unity, arrived in outer space in December 2018 as a component of its testing procedure, carrying the likelihood of regular commercial space flights closer. The company already has a comprehensive waiting list of people aspiring to become space tourists, with an introductory deposit of £200,000 expected to secure a place on this list. Nonetheless, Virgin Galactic has not been complete without issues, comprising many delays and the in-flight casualty of its VSS Enterprise spaceplane in 2014.
SpaceX is already hugely competent when it comes to accelerating space-bound flights and the company is also wishing to get on board the space tourism bandwagon. Still, unlike other companies employing in this field, they are prioritising lunar tourism and other patterns of space travel broadening beyond Earth orbit.
In 2017, the company’s creator, Elon Musk, declared his ambitions to send two reimbursing customers on a journey around the moon on an inaugural lunar tourism expedition. The mission was originally planned for 2018, but has since been halted. SpaceX has not yet disclosed any pricing policy or waiting list for lunar trips.
3. Blue Origin
To date, Blue Origin has been the leading competitor for Virgin Galactic in terms of suborbital space travel tourism. Yet, their offering is established around a more conventional rocket, known as the New Shepard, which takes off and lands vertically, and their purposes are to carve towards orbital spaceflight.
Blue Origin, with its founder Jeff Bezos and others, arrived at the lower reaches of space over the West Texas desert early on 20 July. The world’s best-off, Richest man and 3 others were stimulated to an altitude of 107km, 7km above the internationally acclaimed boundary of space, in a 60ft rocket manufactured by Blue Origin.
They encountered about 3 minutes of weightlessness and viewpoints of the Earth through huge portholes the company had named the “largest windows in space” before their capsule glided back to the desert for a soft landing under 3 parachutes.