Space Tourism and the Privatization of Space Exploration - Seeker's Thoughts

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Seeker's Thoughts

A blog for the curious and the creative.

Space Tourism and the Privatization of Space Exploration

Space tourism is back with a bang! Companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin offer commercial space flights that allow private tourists to ride directly to the International Space Station (ISS).

However, such services don't come without risks. How can the industry overcome obstacles that could turn away customers?


Though space tourism might sound futuristic, it is becoming a reality. Companies such as Virgin Galactic are working to bring down its price so it becomes accessible for everyday citizens.

Though the industry is in its infancy, wealthy individuals have already begun flocking to it in droves. A recent Cowen survey reported that 39% of individuals with net worths of $5 million or greater expressed an interest in taking Virgin Galactic's $250,000 trip into orbit; other private space flights offer less extravagant experiences such as short trips into low Earth orbit on SpaceShipTwo.

Private space companies are developing methods for extracting valuable resources from the Moon, raising concerns as per Outer Space Treaty which states "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, occupation, or any other means."

Space tourism has led to a proliferation of private space companies like XCOR Aerospace and Golden Spike. Although these ventures have received varied media reviews, others such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have received greater exposure and support than expected from their target audiences. Unfortunately, however, this growing industry raises serious environmental concerns regarding environmental degradation and resource depletion.


Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are developing spacecraft designed to take tourists on short flights into space, where they will experience zero-gravity and weightlessness first-hand. Passengers may also participate in activities like weightless somersaults. Although space tourism sounds exciting, there are various risks involved that must be reduced before it can become accessible for civilians. The spaceflight industry must find ways to mitigate them so as to make space travel safer for civilians.

Remember, space tourism is still relatively new. Legislation cannot keep pace with its rapid development, resulting in numerous legal, jurisdictional, authority, safety and liability issues requiring resolution before becoming commercialized.

Space tourism brings many advantages to society, from job creation and investment in research to encouraging more people to study the universe and help solve its mysteries. But before it can flourish, space tourism must address various hurdles first: such as creating spacecraft from scratch and setting up an economy for tourism in low-Earth orbit; otherwise it will remain out of reach for most.


Private space travel companies are currently developing the technology necessary to transport tourists into outer space, but the industry still faces many hurdles to achieving this goal. One major issue for space travelers is cost. Engineers have also implemented advanced fuel cells into tourist vehicles for efficient power use during space flights.

Companies looking to make space tourism a reality must develop reusable rockets and decrease ticket costs for spaceflight tickets. Furthermore, companies are developing technologies which could benefit other industries, including lightweight materials and advanced life support systems - this could have an immense positive effect on the economy as well as make space travel more cost-effective.

Space tourism is experiencing rapid expansion, and several companies are competing to be the first to offer commercial space flights. SpaceX was contracted by NASA to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), while Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic.

Space tourism companies must not only develop spacecraft and related technologies for space tourism purposes, but must also address regulatory matters. For example, they must ensure their passengers are adequately screened and trained prior to embarking on their trips and they should create clear liability guidelines in case an accident should occur.


When discussing space tourism, many people might envision astronauts who are paid to travel into outer space and return. While this is true, space tourism has broadened into something much greater. Now involving many individuals without prior space experience who travel there simply for entertainment purposes - this new form of travel holds several important implications for society as a whole.

Space tourism currently caters primarily to wealthy individuals; however, its technology continues to advance and become more cost-effective for consumers across a wider array of demographics. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle already costs significantly less than what NASA pays Russia annually in shuttle fees to access the International Space Station and return from it.

As space tourism increases, it could provide a major economic boon. Tourism accounts for an estimated $7 trillion worldwide economic output and 284 million jobs globally; one in eleven jobs on Earth is provided through tourism. Space tourism will undoubtedly add to these figures while becoming an invaluable source of revenue for many developing regions; yet its development must be carefully managed to ensure success.

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