Space tourism is no more a dream. Trip to space and moon will become frequent very soon. A US millionaire, Dennis Anthony Tito was the first space tourist who orbited the earth and spent eight days in space, launched by Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-32. He stayed for seven days on the ISS. After him South African businessperson Mark Shuttleworth, and later American businessperson Greg Olsen also toured the space. They were followed by Anousheh Ansari, an Iran born American entrepreneur, who became the first female space tourist. After her, the fifth space tourist was a software architect Charles Simonyi, who went to the space on April 7, 2007.
These trips are just the beginning of space tourism. Now it will soon gain momentum because of massive interest of general public. However, at present, it is very expensive, and meant only for very rich people, but initial cost of any new launch is always high. Take the example of aircrafts. Initial trip of commercial aircrafts used to cost a bomb, and was considered a thrill and adventure of filthy rich people. But now a flight in an airplane is nothing but a boring journey from one place to another. In the same way when a large number of trips with many people will start operating, the cost of trips will go down. Many companies believe it to be a lucrative business and have already invested millions on it.
Understanding space tourism:
Space tourists are different from astronauts; in they go to space only for leisure, or recreational purposes, and not for any scientific research. Now many companies are researching and testing spacecrafts, which can carry tourists to space on a regular basis. If space tourism is an ultimate dream for many, others are terrified of the consequences it may entail on us. Before analyzing the pros and cons of space tourism, let have a thorough understanding of this type of tourism, its history and different aspects.
- Understanding various aspects of space tourism
- Space tourism in history
- Things you should know of space tourism
- A complete guide for space tourists
- How to become a space tourist?
- Special travel tips from astronauts
- 10 Things you might not know of space tourism
- Space tourism will increase the commercial activity in the time of poor state of world economy. Space tourism will become a new area of commercial endeavour and give employment to thousands of people. Manufacturing of new and better spacecraft will give employment to many skilled people.
- It will renew interest in space exploration. As a result, there will be more financial backing to support more innovations in the industry.
- Another big advantage is the newsworthiness of this emerging industry. Anything that is new in this form of tourism will become news headlines. This will draw more investors making the tourism companies sustainable.
- It would also help in identifying potential hazards dangerous for our planet.
- Allows us to view humanity from a different angle rising above petty politics, conflicts, successes, failures and love-hate feelings.
- Opens avenues for advanced technology which can be applied to other domains apart from space missions.
- Advanced opportunities in space exploration may help scientists predict earth’s weather more accurately.
- The scientists may be able to find new minerals and other precious materials in space and other planets. This will be of great help to the people of Earth where natural resources are depleting fast.
- We may someday even discover life in some corner of universe, and learn from it. Exploring the space may lead to some discovery, which we cannot even imagine.
- Make space tourists aware of fragility of our planet. When people see Earth in dark space, and a thin layer of atmosphere they are forced to think of smallness of Earth, and it may induce us to respect our planet and preserve our natural resources.
- We may someday find a place where humans can live. This will be of great help to already over populated Earth.
- Open a new avenue for adventure tourists and people who love thrill.
- Is the space outside the earth meant for humans? This is the first question that needs a proper answer.
- Space travel technology at the nascent stage can make entering space a dangerous venture. Space travelers are likely to get exposed to harmful radiations from the sun.
- Lack of proper regulation and inadequate safety protocols can make space travel extremely dangerous. Companies engaged in this form of travel may fail to stick to safety measures in a spree to gather more customers.
- Experimentation and unsuccessful ventures may cause an unnecessary waste of resources which is not just worth.
- Outdated information can cause serious problems in space travel.
- It may spark unhealthy competition with those having superior technology.
- Developing space programs and spacecrafts need a lot of money. That money can be utilized for alleviation of poverty. Thousands of hungry people can be fed using that money.
- More space tourism ventures are likely to put the lives of astronauts at risk.
- Space tourism is meant for the super rich. For example, a single 2 ½ hour flight ticket in Virgin Galactic’s upcoming space ship costs $ 250,000.
- Since the industry is in its infancy, lack of regulation regarding safety protocols may turn out to be hazardous.
- Several natural resources are wasted in flying the fuel guzzling rockets. It pollutes the atmosphere as well. Thus, space program is bad for our environment.
- Apart from the accidents that lead to loss of life, human beings have to face harsh conditions and adapt themselves to the unfriendly environment which is not good for their health. Spending long hours in zero gravity condition can be dangerous for the person’s cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system. If people accidentally get exposed to high-energy ionizing cosmic rays, it may lead to cancer.
- It is great to imagine people walking on the surface of Mars. It would not be wise to consider the escape to space will help in escaping the problems of earth. There is nowhere in the solar system where you can find the environment as congenial as that available on earth.
- It is fine to crave for thrill, but the whole human race may land into trouble if we find something lethal to life on Earth during some exploration. We may unwittingly introduce some harmful microorganism from space into the atmosphere of Earth.
Money is flowing in from leading industry giants like Jeff Bezos sponsoring Blue Origin, Elon Musk leading Space X and Richard Branson funding Virgin Galactic. It is just only few years for space tourism to take off in a full-fledged manner. Most importantly, tickets are getting sold!