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Space Tourism

 

  Space Tourism  

Are you ready to go to space? Get ready! space tourism will be possible if you go to other countries on vacation you can go to space on vacation and most importantly, you won’t need to undergo any training. no need to become an astronaut to make this happen.

Space tourism refers to human space travel undertaken for recreational purposes, encompassing various categories such as orbital, suborbital, and lunar space tourism.

Between 2001 and 2009, seven space tourists embarked on eight space flights aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), facilitated by Space Adventures in collaboration with Roscosmos and RSC Energia. These ventures came with a publicized cost ranging from US$20–25 million per trip. Some space tourists engaged in research activities through contracts with third parties during their orbital journeys, contributing to the early development of commercial spaceflight by 2007.

Orbital space tourism faced a temporary hiatus in 2010 when Russia suspended such flights due to the increased crew size on the ISS, reallocating seats that were previously available to paying spaceflight participants. Although orbital tourist flights were initially set to resume in 2015, the planned launch was indefinitely postponed. However, Russian orbital tourism successfully resumed with the launch of Soyuz MS-20 in 2021.

In a significant development, NASA announced on June 7, 2019, its intention to permit private astronauts to visit the ISS starting in 2020. The SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner spacecraft were earmarked for these trips, with an estimated cost of $35,000 per day for one astronaut and $50 million for the complete journey.

Simultaneously, efforts persist in the development of suborbital space tourism vehicles, spearheaded by aerospace companies like Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. SpaceX also entered the space tourism arena by revealing plans in 2018 to send space tourists, including Yusaku Maezawa, on a free-return trajectory around the Moon using the Starship.

It’s important to note that developments in space tourism may have occurred since the last knowledge update in January 2022. For the most recent information, consulting current sources is recommended.

 

  1. How will it be possible and Who will make it possible?  

How expensive it will be? Come, let’s find out, three people are making it possible. First, billionaire Richard Branson. The owner of the virgin group. His space tourism company is named Virgin Galactic.

Second Jeff Bezos.  The owner of Amozn. His spaced tourism company is named Blue Origin. and, third Elon Musk. The owner of Tesla. His spaced company is named SpaceX.

There was a Neck-to-neck competition between the first two people to see who would be the first man world to go to space-own rocket.

Jeff Bezos had announced that the would do this on 20th July. After, that Richard Branson who had originally planned to attempt this a few months later, preponed his plane.

Richard Branson attempted this a few days ago, on 11th July. with two pilots and three other crew members. he got into his Unity spacecraft. this spacecraft flew into the sky and this mission was successful leaving Jeff Bezos behind.

He became the world’s first man to go to space in his spaceship. He became the world’s first man to go to space in his spaceship.

It’s very interesting to get to know the technical details of this feat because he wasn’t in a rocket that’s launched from a launchpad. Like you normally see in films or like astronauts usually travel, in a rocket. Instead, it was a kind of airplane.

You can call this airplane a ‘space plane’ because it went into space. What happened was there was a big plane on the runway.

You can call it the ‘mother aircraft’ this smaller space plane is attached to it. It’s named Unity. Initially, both plane takes off from the runway. Together because they’re attached and when they reach around 50000 feet altitude.

Space Tourism

This unity space plane detaches from the mother aircraft and then at a supersonic speed faster than the speed of sound it goes towards space when we talk about going to space here, what it exactly means is that it was 88km above the earth’s surface.

If you look out of the window at that height you’d get to see the curvature of the earth, at this height, the passengers of the plane can experience weightlessness, as the astronauts experience it, but the unfortunate thing is that this plane doesn’t remain at that height for long. This weightlessness can be experienced for only 4 minutes on this virgin plastic flight, after that, the plane starts its descent and lands on the runway like a normal airplane it takes only an hour to complete this journey, and the part from the detaching of the space plane, reaching the top to landing back takes only 15 minutes so it’s not a very long journey.

 

  2. Precursors  

The Soviet space program played a pivotal role in diversifying the pool of cosmonauts through initiatives like the Intercosmos program. This program extended opportunities to cosmonauts from Warsaw Pact member countries, including Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, as well as allies such as Cuba, Mongolia, Vietnam, and non-aligned nations like India, Syria, and Afghanistan. While these cosmonauts underwent full training, they typically had shorter flights compared to their Soviet counterparts. The European Space Agency (ESA) also participated in the Intercosmos program.

In contrast, the U.S. Space Shuttle program introduced payload specialist positions, often filled by individuals from companies or institutions managing specific payloads. Unlike professional NASA astronauts, these payload specialists did not undergo the same extensive training. The first payload specialists on the Space Shuttle were Ulf Merbold from the ESA and Byron Lichtenberg from MIT, flying on mission STS-9 in 1983.

Space Tourism

The 1980s witnessed proposals for commercial space ventures, including a removable cabin capable of carrying up to 74 passengers into orbit for three days. Several concepts were explored, such as Space Habitation Design Associates’ cabin with 72 passengers and configurations for launch and landing. Cost estimates for flying tourists without government subsidy ranged from $1 million to $1.5 million per passenger. Optimistically, projections suggested a growing market with 30,000 people annually willing to pay $25,000 each for space travel within 15 years.

As the U.S. shuttle program expanded in the early 1980s, NASA initiated the Space Flight Participant program to allow civilians without scientific or governmental roles to fly. The tragic Challenger disaster in 1986 led to the cancellation of programs such as Teacher in Space, Journalist in Space, and Artist in Space. Christa McAuliffe, initially selected as the first Teacher in Space, tragically lost her life in the Challenger disaster. However, her backup, Barbara Morgan, later became a professional astronaut.

NASA’s stance on space tourism evolved. Initially opposed to accommodating paying guests on the International Space Station (ISS), NASA’s attitude shifted. A 2001 House of Representatives hearing reflected this shift, focusing on issues and opportunities for nonprofessional astronauts, safety and training criteria for space tourists, and the commercial market for space tourism.

In the post-Perestroika economy, Russia’s space industry faced financial challenges. In 1990, Toyohiro Akiyama of the Tokyo Broadcasting System became the first paying space tourist on a mission to Mir. The cash-strapped Russian space industry continued to explore commercial opportunities, with British chemist Helen Sharman becoming the first Briton in space in 1991 as part of Project Juno.

Space Tourism

The economic realities in post-Perestroika Russia led to the acceptance of paying space tourists. In 1990, Toyohiro Akiyama from the Tokyo Broadcasting System flew to Mir, and in 1999, British billionaire Peter Llewellyn intended to pay $100 million for a trip to Mir. However, Llewellyn’s refusal to pay the sum led to the cancellation of his planned spaceflight.

 

  3. What will be the cost?  

The price of one ticket for the Virgin Galactic flight will be $250,000 it’s up to you whether you can afford it or not.

Richard Branson says that eventually, the price will be lowered when more people will start using it, the price of the ticket may be as low as $40,000.

Space Tourism

Today it is not something that a common man can afford but once it starts, maybe 10 or 15 years down the line, normal people will also be able to afford it.

The Federal Aviation Administration of the USA has said that the radiation that you might experience at that height will be insignificant and a cause for worry, but looking at the other risk factors when you go to do this you will get a form signed by you. If there’s any harm to you, then it is your responsibility.

 

  4. Successful Projects  

At the end of the 1990s, MirCorp, a private venture overseeing the Mir space station, aimed to generate revenue by inviting space tourists to visit Mir and contribute to maintenance costs. Dennis Tito, an American businessman and former JPL scientist, became the first candidate for this novel venture. However, when the decision was made to de-orbit Mir, Tito renegotiated his trip to the International Space Station (ISS) through a deal between MirCorp and the US-based Space Adventures, Ltd. In April–May 2001, Tito spent seven days aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, becoming the world’s inaugural “fee-paying” space tourist. Tito reportedly paid $20 million for this historic journey.

Following Tito’s groundbreaking experience, more individuals ventured into space as space tourists:

  1. Mark Shuttleworth (April 2002): South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth flew aboard Soyuz TM-34.
  2. Gregory Olsen (October 2005): American businessman Gregory Olsen visited the ISS on Soyuz TMA-7.
  3. Anousheh Ansari (September 2006): Iranian American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari became the fourth space tourist on Soyuz TMA-9.
  4. Charles Simonyi (April 2007, March 2009): American businessman Charles Simonyi became the first repeat space tourist, flying on Soyuz TMA-10 and Soyuz TMA-14.
  5. Richard Garriott (October 2008): British-American entrepreneur Richard Garriott traveled to the ISS on Soyuz TMA-13.
  6. Guy Laliberté (September 2009): Canadian entrepreneur Guy Laliberté visited the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-16.

Following Laliberté, space tourism on the Russian Soyuz program experienced a hiatus after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. After the Space Shuttle’s return to service in July 2005, space tourism resumed. Notably, Sarah Brightman initially planned to be a space tourist but withdrew from training in 2015.

With the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011, Soyuz once again became the sole means of accessing the ISS, leading to another pause in space tourism. However, on June 7, 2019, NASA announced plans to reopen the ISS to space tourism.

In recent developments:

  1. Inspiration4 (September 16, 2021): The Inspiration4 mission, launched by SpaceX aboard a Falcon 9, marked the first all-civilian crew to undertake an orbital space mission aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience.
  2. Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1, April 8, 2022): SpaceX launched Axiom Mission 1 for Axiom Space, sending three space tourists and retired NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría to the ISS on a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Ax-1 was the first mission to send multiple space tourists to the ISS and represented NASA’s officially sanctioned Private Astronaut Missions (PAMs) to the ISS.
  3. Axiom Mission 2 (May 21, 2023): Axiom Space launched another mission, Axiom Mission 2, with one additional space tourist, John Shoffner, alongside retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and two Saudi astronauts.

These missions mark NASA’s efforts to stimulate a non-NASA market for human spaceflight, facilitating cost-sharing on future commercial space stations.

 

  5. Talking about the environmental impact  

many people have criticized all three billionaires on this point, that space tourism will be something that only the rich can afford, only the top 0.1% of people.

It will lead to so much pollution and the environmental impact of this will be so large, that it is very disproportionate.

The other people will not get the opportunity to do this, but the environmental impact on the Earth will have to be borne by the others as well.

environmental impact on Space Tourism

Virgin Galactic the CO2 emissions in a normal flight per passenger per mile is at 0.2 kg, there you’d get 12 Kg of CO2 emissions, a difference of 60 times.

Nitrous Oxide when it is released into our atmosphere, will lead to ozone depletion, you’ve learned in school how important the ozone layer is in our atmosphere it protects us from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

The second problem is that when the rockets take off from the land so much heat is generated, that the ozone levels increase at ground level. Ozone near the surface is useless, higher in the atmosphere is beneficial.

An increase in ozone at the ground level will be harmful to us, losing ozone from the ozone layer will be harmful to us and this will be the result of space tourism, Ozone will increase near the surface and decrease from the atmosphere.

In the case of Jeff Bezos, even if no harmful gasses are emitted from his rocket when it takes off from the ground, it will lead to a lot of heat being generated, which again leads to a threat to the ozone levels.

These are some points that we’d have to remember shortly when space tourism becomes more common and these billionaires will have to come up with their solutions.

 


Read More: The Blue Brain Project

 

                 verified Article by: Mr Sudeep Thapa
Sudeep Thapa
Sudeep Thapahttps://besttenuniverse.com
Sudeep Thapa is a Founder and Chief Author at Best Ten Universe. He has completed a Bachelor of Business Studies from Lumbini Banijya Campus ( Tribhuwan University ) .
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