What Is Space Tourism? Read To Know About It!
What Is Space Tourism? Read To Know About It!
The wonders of the 21st century just keep getting better and better. With the evolution of the human race and the progression of technology, we are now discussing a trip to space! From having to travel for three weeks to reach England from India, years later, it is barely a 9-hour direct flight.
Space tourism or space travel is a fast-expanding sector, with a variety of companies selling excursions into space. These flights can range from suborbital to complete orbital missions and extended stays on the International Space Station. Science, innovation, engineering and technology are finding new ways to make the world and even the universe a smaller place! Read on to learn more about space tourism.
Table Of Contents
1. What Is Space Tourism?
2. Types Of Space Tourism
3. Types Of Space Travel
4. Space Tourism In India
5. The Final Say
What Is Space Tourism?
The practice of travelling into outer space for recreation is known as space tourism. The goal and intent of the trip make up the primary distinction between space tourism and space exploration.
‘Space tourism’, as the name suggests, refers to the popular trend of people travelling to space for recreational purposes. The first passenger in space was Dennis Tito in 2001; he spent around $20 million to go onboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).
Since then, many more people have taken suborbital Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo or Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket ship. Goes without saying, it is a very costly affair.
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Types Of Space Tourism
1. Space Travel
Many companies offer space travel vacations. However, space travel can be extremely expensive. Space travel can potentially be dangerous, too. Also, space travel is very different from terrestrial travel. If you are not experienced in living in space, it can be difficult to adapt to the new environment.
Stargazing is a popular form of space tourism. There are numerous very famous stargazing spots worldwide. These spots are generally in isolated places with minimal to even no pollution. This allows for better visibility.
Some of these stargazing destinations have tapped into the tourist sector and now provide stargazing tours as well as alternative lodging options such as bubble hotels, igloos, and glamping.
People who enjoy stargazing frequently travel to regions where the Northern or Southern Lights can be seen.
3. Space Museums
A great place to start your space tourism journey can be visiting space museums. The NASA Space Museum or SPARK by ISRO are good examples among other museums around the world.
You can learn a lot about space flights and the history of space exploration. You might even get a close look at some real space technology!
4. Rocket Launches
If you are near a rocket launch site, you could experience a rocket launch in person. Rocket launches obviously do not happen every day, but if you are in the right place at the right time, you might be able to see one. Be safe, check the weather and be patient!
Types Of Space Travel
Suborbital space travel only takes you around 62 miles above the surface of the Earth. So you are not travelling to “outer space.” However, when your spacecraft nears the end of its journey, you will feel weightless for a few moments.
And, while 62 miles may not seem like much, it is actually fairly far up! You will be able to see the Earth’s horizon and possibly even the curvature of our planet from this vantage point.
2. Orbital Flights
a 20-minute journey that takes you 150 miles above the Earth and back in six minutes. It is less dangerous than suborbital travel since it avoids the “risks” of reentry into Earth’s atmosphere from space.
At 17,000 miles per hour, people will go more than 200 miles into space. They will feel weightless as they reach an Earth orbit and will enjoy an unrivalled view of the planet from above. Every 90 minutes, the spacecraft will complete a full Earth orbit.
Before embarking on their mission, space travellers will receive extensive training. The voyage can last up to 12 days in space, with a free visit to the International Space Station included.
Several space businesses have begun accepting reservations for their first private lunar voyage for the truly daring (and super-rich).
Visitors will spend ten days there, depending on the firm, before returning on a specially modified lunar module. When the lunar module arrives at the moon (roughly a 3-day journey), it will follow a looping trajectory, going as close to the moon’s cratered surface as 62 miles.
The cost of tickets for this type of trip is estimated to be worth approximately $150,000,000.
Space Tourism In India
According to Business Standard, India’s intentions to launch space tourism by 2030 are set to gain a boost as ISRO begins talks with global companies in search of collaborations, one of which being Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
The Space Policy 2023, which was approved recently, allows private companies to enter the field and is anticipated to boost academia, entrepreneurs, and the economy.
ISRO chairman S Somnath allegedly stated last month that space tourism might begin in India by 2030 at a cost of roughly ‘Rs 6 crore.’ However, reusable launch vehicles are essential to make the process more economical before India’s space tourism takes to the skies.
It may take some time in India and is heavily dependent on the completion of ISRO’s manned space mission. For the time being, India’s space tourism initiative is in its early phases.
Gaganyaan is the currently approved proposal. It is necessary to debate space tourism, whether it be Isro or business through public-private partnerships. It necessitates a lengthy approval process.
The Final Say
Because space tourism is nonetheless an emerging sector, it is laden with hazards and safety concerns. Many space tourism organisations have come up with measures to reduce risks. The sector is regarded as safe by commercial space companies and also by space authorities and the government.
Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing, and Virgin Galactic are engaging with space tourism globally. According to ISpA data, since the year 2001, 13 tourists have visited the International Space Station (ISS), and 27 passengers have been on suborbital journeys. India’s Gaganyaan for space tourism is in the works.
1. How much does space tourism cost?
Space tourism is very expensive. A suborbital flight costs between $100,000-$250,000 per passenger. Orbital flights are even more expensive: between $200 and $300 million per per person.
2. Is space tourism safe?
Firms like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have been working for years to send people to space. They have mastered launching rockets and their subsequent successful return to Earth, so yes, it is safe.
However, there is no way to completely remove all potential risks during the launch. In space, the biggest threat is posed by space debris, solar radiation and so on.
3. What are the requirements for space travel?
One needs to go through extensive training for a space mission. This training can be online or in-person, depending on the kind of trip you are taking. The following are a few basic requirements:
- Must be a healthy adult (18 years and above).
- Must pass a medical and mental exam along with a training course.
- You must pass a flight test.
- Conduct a background check and obtain a security clearance.
4. What are the disadvantages of space tourism?
The following are some of the disadvantages of space tourism:
- Extremely costly.
- Contributes to noise pollution.
- High risks and lack of regulation.
- Contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
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