The Dawn of Space Tourism

Ever since the dawn of space travel, the idea of taking a trip to outer space has been irresistible. Today, with so many companies looking to make it possible for people to become tourists in what is now being dubbed “Space 2.0,” more and more people are getting their chance at seeing Earth from above or even going into space themselves!

The companies making waves in this new space field include Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which launched four civilians into orbit on the historic Inspiration4 flight in September. But they’re not alone: Virgin Space (Richard Branson) and Blue Origin (Bezos) are also vying for dominance in this newest frontier!

What is Space Tourism?

Human beings have launched many things into space, from the Hubble Space Telescope to pizzas, and now, humans en masse.  However, it’s usually been government agencies, launch companies, or private organisations that have sent people to space.

Space tourism is human space travel for recreational purposes. Space tourism takes the idea of sending someone into orbit but makes it more public and accessible for a wider variety of people. Instead of being an elite group that gets to experience life in outer space, just about anyone can do so if they have enough money!

This tourism industry has been around in some form or another since Yuri Gagarin became the first person to fly in space. Still, it wasn’t until Dennis Tito chose to go up with a company called Space Adventures in 2001 that people started paying attention. Since then, some other companies have sprung up to take advantage of this opportunity – and the prices they’re charging are pretty steep!

Where is Space Tourism Happening?

The first company to make waves in this new field has been Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which launched the Inspiration4, an all-civilian spaceflight mission in 2021, operated on behalf of Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman.

This wasn’t the first time SpaceX has sent someone to space, however. In 2020, SpaceX became the first private company to send humans into orbit and the International Space Station (ISS).

To date, Elon Musk’s company has had its most significant success with launching both private citizens and commercial satellites into orbit!

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, comes closely behind SpaceX in innovation and success.  The first successful mission they launched was the New Shepard which sent its capsule to space before safely returning to Earth after an 11-minute flight!

Although it’s not quite as flashy or ‘out there’ as Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy launch, it does show that they’re getting closer and closer to making space tourism a reality. The company has sent William Shatner to space and has plans to build a “space business park”.

Other companies like Virgin Galactic (Richard Branson), Boeing, and Lockheed Martin are also close in this exciting new field.

What do you Need to Become a Space Tourist?

The short answer is – lots of money!

Space tourism isn’t cheap, and costs can range from $20 million to $100 million for a whole rocket ride in 2021! 

However, since this is the industry’s first year, these prices are likely to drop in future years.

When it comes down to what you need, many companies have similar requirements. You must be an adult who hasn’t had major surgery recently and weighs less than 260 pounds! However, some companies will require even more checks, like ensuring that you don’t have any life-threatening diseases or criminal records.

Tourists may be required to undergo training and complete basic tests before they’re allowed to go up. Zero gravity and vacuum training are also pretty important!

What Comes Next?

With all these exciting launches happening recently, it seems that humans may soon be travelling out into deep space for the first time!

The next step for space tourism is to have something that can safely take people into orbit – and there are already several companies working on it.  

While SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin are probably the most well-known of these companies, there is a chance that it may be some other company altogether.

As more countries push into space—China just made its first successful moon launch last year—competition in this new industry will likely heat up as everyone vies to be the first to make space tourism a reality.

It will be an exciting time for space tourism, and it seems like the dawn of this new industry is just beginning!

What does this mean for us?

Space tourism is already here – but there’s still plenty of time to get your tickets (it might cost you a few thousand dollars) before it really takes off.

But once people start flocking into space, that’s when we’ll really see the capabilities of this new industry. With the right amount of funding and support, who knows how many types of people will be wanting to go up into outer space?

Probably a lot of people.


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