Space tourism is a branch of the tourism industry that involves space-based tourism, where a customer travels into space on a seat in a spacecraft or rocket. The industry has been popularized by the success of Virgin Galactic and will continue to grow as new companies, such as Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Orbit join the fray after they conclude successful test flights.
Space tourism is the act of traveling to another celestial body to live and work for extended periods of time in space. Early space tourism companies consisted of suborbital spaceflight companies. They achieved their first successful launch in 2001 with the suborbital spaceflight of SpaceShip One, which set several records for the rocket industry, including the first successful experimental manned space flight to the edge of space and the first to cross the speed of sound.
Before space tourism was a thing, the public dreamed of going to space and then going back to Earth in one piece. In the 1970s, NASA first tested a BFR for a space tourist; Paul Allen and Jeff Bezos, among others, were once involved in developing it. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that the first private space tourism company was founded. The first successful suborbital spaceflight of a space tourist was SpaceShip One in 2001, which set several records for the rocket industry, including the first successful experimental manned space flight to the edge of space and the first to cross the speed of sound. Since then, space tourism has soared in popularity. Now, space tourism companies are flying customers into space to visit the International Space Station and other locations.
Over time, development of the BFR was halted, and today’s space tourism companies are focusing on suborbital spaceflights. Space tourism is still in its infancy, so it is too early to predict how many people will be able to afford the experience. It is projected that Blue Origin’s New Shepard space plane could carry up to six people in the future, and Virgin Galactic plans to offer suborbital spaceflights.
by Ιωάννα Γιάννινα