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Science and Technology

Is Space Tourism possible?

What is Space Tourism? It’s exactly what it sounds like –traveling in space as a tourist. This means that very soon it won’t only be Nasa-trained astronauts who can experience the wonder of space travel, but ordinary people too.

Many people find this idea futuristic. But over the past few years, a growing volume of professional work has been done on space tourism, and it’s now clear that setting up commercial space tourism services is a realistic target for business today.

To date, orbital space tourism has been performed only by the Russian Space Agency and they canceled their program in 2010. While the Russian Space Agency let a handful of ‘space tourists’  experience the wonder of space many private companies like Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Blue Origin have been set up with the sole purpose of taking paying members of the public into space. These companies are developing space shuttle for suborbital space tourism. They have not limited themselves to suborbital space.

Currently, SpaceX is working on BFR. The BFR is an in-development, privately owned rocket that’s designed for projects like to head over to the Moon and obviously Mars.  Also, they announced in 2018 that they are planning to send two tourists on a free-return trajectory around the Moon on the upper stage of SpaceX’s BFR rocket, known as Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS). And SpaceX is not alone in this. Blue Origin is testing reusable launch vehicles to space in order to reduce the cost of space travel. So we can expect space endeavors in the upcoming time.

In 2001-09, Space Adventures, American space tourism company, brokered flight to the International Space Station in the range of US $ 20-40 million. During that time 7 space tourists made 8 space flights. So far Space Adventures is the only company that has sent paying passengers to space.

Russia halted orbital space tourism in 2010 due to the increase in the International Space Station crew size, using the seats for expedition crews that would previously have been sold to paying spaceflight participants. Orbital tourist flights were set to resume in 2015 but the one planned was postponed indefinitely and none have occurred since 2009.

At last, if we talk about the reasons for which a human would like to go to space then the most prominent one will be ‘curiosity’. We want to explore those tens of thousands of galaxies, each with trillions of stars and at least as many planets and utilize the infinite resources it promises.

This will also signify that man has evolved enough to perhaps establish a permanent extra-terrestrial habitat. The idea of colonizing the Moon, Mars shouldn’t be that far-fetched as it’s the natural progression of our species.