Are you fond of adventures? You have already experienced the thrills of paradropping, scuba diving, river rafting, mountain climbing and what not, and still up for more challenges? There is one more option to challenge your nerves. What do you think about space walk, or still better to take a walk on the surface of moon? I am not kidding. It is now possible. Space tourism is now a reality. Many people are now planning to go to space and experience the thrills of weightlessness. Up till now only government sponsored spacecrafts were launched into space but now a number of private players are developing commercial spacecrafts for space tourist. The only catch is that it is exorbitantly expensive. So how much will you need to experience the thrills of space tourism? Let’s see.
Cost of space travel
- In 2001, American billionaire Dennis Tito became the first space tourist to go on a trip to International Space Station. He had to shell out $20 million for the privilege of spending seven days in space. He was the first private client of Space Adventure, the only company to have launched private tourists to space up until now. The cost of such a trip now in the spacecraft of this company will be around $ 50 million. The company offers many more options- for additional $ 15 million you can be trained at ISS for a spacewalk, and experience the nothingness of space for 90 minutes or for $ 300 million, you can go for a trip to moon.
- This is not the only option available to you. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will take you to suborbital flight later this year for $ 20 million. Many celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Justin Beiber have booked their flights; you can join in too. You will receive few days of training at Virgin Galactic Space centre, and then you will be launched into outer space at three times the speed of sound. Once in space, you will experience weightlessness and total silence for about six minutes and then you will return to mother Earth.
- Dragon capsule by Space Exploration Technologies can take you to orbital flight into 370 km orbit for $ 20 million per seat, or you can book a 7-crew package for $ 140 million. If you could wait for 10 to 20 years, you can explore Mars, or even settle there.
- If you want to settle for a little less, a subsidiary of Space Adventure, Zero Gravity is offering a Boeing 727 trip, where plane climbs to 34,000 feet, and then swirls to parabolas to give experience of weightlessness. This trip will cost you about $ 5,000.
Though prices are unbelievably high at this juncture, it is expected that when more vehicles will be launched, and more trips and better technology invented, the prices will go down. The high cost at present funds research and development of this fledgling industry.