It looks like we’re on the verge of achieving space travel for everyone, but it still boils down to those who have a lot of money to pay for it.
Flights outside the earth’s atmosphere are becoming more popular. With the participation of more companies, the possibility of space tourism is opening up, but they are still reserved for those who have the money to pay for the privilege.
The first registered space tourist was billionaire Dennis Tito.
This week astronauts worked to assemble new critical station hardware. Two cosmonauts will exit the station for an upcoming spacewalk to prepare the station for a new science module. #SpaceToGround pic.twitter.com/Pf6tLryldc
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) May 28, 2021
After that, we began to see the names of other people traveling into space: space tourists.
Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004 by British businessman Richard Branson with the aim of planning trips into space.
In 2018, SpaceShip Two was the first American commercial flight with humans to reach space since the United States shuttle program ended in 2011.
With that flight, it became the first private company to offer suborbital flights to tourists.
“Sending people to space has not only expanded our understanding of science, but taught us amazing things about human ingenuity, physiology and psychology. From space, we are able to look with a new perspective both outward and back. From space, the borders that are fought over on Earth are arbitrary lines. From space it is clear that there is much more that unites than divides us,” reads the website.
On December 13, 2018, NASA posted a tweet that read: “Congrats to @VirginGalactic on SpaceShipTwo successfully flying to suborbital space.”
Congrats to @VirginGalactic on SpaceShipTwo successfully flying to suborbital space with our four @NASA_Technology payloads onboard. With a good rocket motor burn, the mission went beyond the 50-mile altitude target. Learn more about our tech onboard: https://t.co/CnVFu1eSQz https://t.co/D1AhE1Uzxm
— NASA (@NASA) December 13, 2018
Two decades after Dennis Tito declared “I just came back from paradise!”, there are already dates for tourist flights scheduled this year.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos announced it has scheduled trips to the ISS in October and December.
On the first flight, scheduled for October 5, 2021 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft will be flying actress Yuliya Peresild and director Klim Shipenko, who will record the first fiction film shot in space.
The second scheduled flight to the ISS will be on December 8, taking Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano as tourists on a 12-day trip, for which the crew training will begin in June.
Earlier this month Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin began an online open auction for suborbital tourist travel tickets on its New Shepard spacecraft, which could fly its first crew of astronauts into space on July 20.
According to its website, on July 20th, New Shepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space.
For this flight, they are offering a seat to the winner of the online auction that will conclude on June 12.
The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.
Recently, Elon Musk’s SpaceX recorded the first flight in history certified by NASA of a commercial spacecraft system capable of transporting humans, in November 2020.
This company signed an agreement with Space Adventures and announced a new partnership to send four tourists to the farthest orbit that any common citizen has ever reached before, on a mission that could be carried out in 2022 and cost more than 100 million dollars.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 26, 2021
Washington-based Space Adventures served as an intermediary to send eight tourists to the ISS on Russian Soyuz rockets.
The Japanese billionaire traveling with Roscosmos, Yusaku Maezawa, will be a space tourist again with another eight people on a flight around the Moon scheduled with SpaceX for 2023.
The company announced its first completely private mission to the International Space Station, planned for 2022. The Ax-1 will consist of four members, three of whom will pay a sum of 55 million dollars each.
They will not carry out any scientific experiments, going into space as tourists.
The crew will spend eight days on the space station, taking a day or two to arrive aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
The first private ISS crew in the history of humankind has been assembled.
Commander Michael López-Alegría
Mission Pilot Larry Connor
Mission Specialist Mark Pathy
Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe
Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1): The start of a new era. pic.twitter.com/vBlr0ASRhj
— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) January 26, 2021
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is being developed in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
The Starliner was designed to accommodate seven passengers, or a mix of crew and cargo, for missions to low-Earth orbit.
For NASA service missions to the International Space Station, it will carry up to four NASA-sponsored crew members and time-critical scientific research.
The Starliner has an innovative, weldless structure, and is reusable up to 10 times with a six-month turnaround time.
It also features wireless internet and tablet technology for crew interfaces.
NASA and Boeing are targeting 2:53 p.m. EDT Friday, July 30, for the launch of the company’s Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2). (AFP)