Space tourism that something that, at one point, was once considered to be a thing of science fiction. While only a limited number of people not registered as employees with an international space agency have ever flown into space in all of history, that’s set to change in the near future as commercial space companies develop new reusable platforms in an effort to cut costs.
As some might recall, an American businessman by the name of Dennis Tito became the very first space tourist to visit the International Space Station in April of 2001. The one-in-a-lifetime visit lasted for eight consecutive days, but it also cost him more than $20 million out of pocket. Unfortunately, most people don’t have that kind of money just sitting around for enjoyment.
As commercial companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX ramp up production of and test tourist-friendly space vehicles, it’s estimated that seats for space tourism could drop to almost $200,000 in the very near future. While that’s still a substantial amount of money that only the wealthy could afford, it’s also worth noting that it’s just 1% of what Tito paid almost two decades ago.
As time moved forward and vehicles become more and more reusable, that cost could continue to go down as the only real costs become both crew and rocket fuel. Unfortunately, such visits would only last for mere moments as opposed to Tito’s eight-day stay. A real bummer for those who would want to experience outer space as astronauts do currently.
It could be some time before just anyone gets an opportunity to visit outer space, but with current developments underway, one can only hope that things might change in the future.