Will Space Tourism be a reality?
Some people travel to gain knowledge about ancient culture while some travel just to do a bustle. These days tourism has expanded beyond geographical boundaries. But have you ever thought how it would be to travel to the space? Yes, many people desire travelling to space, Space tourism can be of different types such as orbital, sub-orbital and lunar space tourism.
So far, Russian Space Agency has only been able to perform it. The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities commonly known as Roscomos is responsible for wide range of space flights. The headquarters of Roscomos is located in Moscow, while the main Mission Control Space center site is in the nearby city of Korolev. Yuri Gragarin cosmonaut training center, which was named after a Soviet pilot who became the first person to journey into outer space, is located in star city of Moscow oblast.
The launch facilities used are baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East in Amur oblast. The current director of roscosmos is Dmitry Rogozin. In 2015 the Russian government merged roscosmos with the United Rocket and Space Corporation, the re-nationalized Russian space industry, to create the Roscosmos state corporation.
Space tourism is not an easy task. Many companies have ventured into the industry and left soon after due to the complexity, investment requirement, and the risk involved. According to sources, seven people have paid for space tourism so far, with American multimillionaire Dennis Tito becoming the first space tourist in 2001, flying to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Soyuz capsule to the tune of $20 million. No space tourist has flown since 2009.
“2019 probably can be the year that is going to be the culmination of two decades of development work that have gone into space tourism” - Caleb Williams :- Lead Economic Analyst of a consulting firm, Space Works. In near future we can see an entirely new tourism industry blossoming in the space as many. Private companies in the US are planning to take humans to the space and making it more accessible for us.
Virgin Galactic, a space company experimented their first space trip on 13th of December 2018 by sending astronauts to the edge of space. Mark Stucky, Frederick Sturckow was the two pilots who took Virgin’s space plane VSS unity up to 51.4 miles in the space. Since this successful experiment, more than 700 people have bought tickets on Virgin Galactic at a cost between $200,000 and $250,000 as this year, the company plans to conduct commercial flights.
On each flight, there will be six passengers, who will experience several incredible views of Earth as the space plane hops into space. 2019 promises to be a changing point of Space Tourism after patience, dedication and hard work of many years.
Not only Virgin but other companies are planning for space tourism. Blue Origin, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the helm, has been making waves with its reusable New Shepard rocket, which has been to space nearly 10 times. Now they are planning to launch humans for the first time, which may very well happen in 2019.
Few other US companies such as SpaceX and Boeing are also working hard to send astronauts to orbit. They both are contracted by NASA to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Moreover, they are also planning to fly their own astronauts, which will be a key step of making space tourism more accessible and opening new doors towards the development of tourism. SpaceX has already declared its plans to conduct paid trips to moon as early as 2023.
“Space tourism has been taken much more seriously over the past several years”-Laura Forczyk; founder of the consulting firm Astraleytical.
Since 1960’s, huge discussion started on space tourism. In countries like UK and Germany, many space hotels concepts are investigated and low costs space transportation system is being analyzed for future. This wide variety of studies indicates, that space tourism is considered to have a considerable economic potential in the mid to long term.
Although space tourism had come up in a number of science fiction stories, it is an astonishing fact that in almost none of them, tourism is portrayed as more than a small scale activity greatly over shadowed by government missions such as military operations, scientific research, defense etc. This is a good example of how the cold war pattern of space activities has paralyzed the public’s imagination the space tourism or the space flight participant are called by few and it helps to minimize the expense however it was planned to resume in 2012, the number of single use three man soyuz launches rises to five flight in a year.
Space tourism is quite a risky thing and requires advanced technological sophistication. New advancement has to be made, including more sustainable rockets, new fuel propagation method and energy consumption techniques that can allow for prolonged space travel. The astronauts or tourists travelling to the exoplanet will have to be prepared both physicall and psychologically to deal with the adverse effect of space travel such as radiation exposer on their bodies, among others by developing protective gadgets, suits, and accessories.
As the spacecraft climbs higher and higher, the passenger notices the color of the sky outside changing from light blue to dark blue and then black. Once in space, the rocket motors powered off and there is complete silence. At this time, if the passenger takes his belt off, he will see that gravity is no longer there and he can literally float around the cabin of the spacecraft. The activities that take place in a particular tourist destination could produce a number of impacts on different environments some of these main environments that tourism operates in could be economic, cultural, social and the natural environment.
So far now, we can conclude that it will be difficult for the common public to afford the tickets for space tours. A clear picture cannot be presented that how far price will fall as the cost of flights will definitely remain higher, at least in the near future. But though, it could be concluded that the year 2020 can connect the dream to reality. The United States companies are trying their level best to better scope and development of space tourism, with proactive support from its government.