Traveling to space was only possible in films and by real life astronauts, and it was all we could only imagine and dream of. However, with the emergence of space tourism companies and commercial space flights’ development, becoming space tourists has become a reality for many people.
But do you think that space tourism companies are bringing in any positivity? Well, of course, they are. They are making it possible for you to have a recreational joy ride. However, there are substantial drawbacks to space tourism. In this article, we will be discussing the pros and cons and figure out who is having an oversight about them. Let’s get started.
Pros & Cons os Space Tourists
Pros of Space Tourism
- Expanding Exploration: Space tourism, particularly by space tourism companies like Virgin Galactic, provides opportunities for space tourists to explore beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, ushering in a new era of discovery.
- Stimulating Economic Growth: The space tourism industry, including the orbital space tourism sector, has the potential to stimulate economic growth by creating new jobs and attracting investment.
- Promoting International Cooperation: The International Space Station is a testament to the benefits of international cooperation in space exploration. This spirit of collaboration could be extended with the growth of space tourism.
- Inspiring Youth: The advent of space tourism and the idea of becoming a space tourist can inspire the younger generation to pursue studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Cons of Space Tourism
- Environmental Impact: The space tourism industry, including companies like Virgin Galactic, contributes to environmental damage. The rockets used in commercial space transportation release substantial amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- Safety Risks: There are significant safety risks associated with space tourism. Despite Virgin Galactic’s seventh trip being successful, there is always the inherent risk of catastrophic failures in any space venture.
- High Costs: The cost of becoming a space tourist is prohibitively high for most people, making space tourism an elite privilege.
- Space Debris: Increased space tourism can lead to an increase in the amount of space debris orbiting the Earth, posing a risk to both space tourists and satellites.
Space Tourism – the advent
With the emergence of several commercial spaceflight companies, space tourism has become possible. Elon Musk marked the beginning of this when he sent four people to space in the space capsule named Dragon. So following the footsteps of SpaceX, various other companies came into existence.
For almost two decades, leading spaceflight companies – Blue Origin, Bigelow Aerospace, and others have worked hard. They are trying to bring out the safest space capsules for people to tour space and turn their dreams into a reality.
Know about the space tourism business
Owners of the three leading commercial spaceflight companies have come a long way in space tourism. Blue Origin’s owner Jeff Bezos, flew into space with three other companions on July 20, 2021.
Just nine days earlier, Virgin Galactic’s owner Richard Branson also boarded the Unity 22 spaceflight and blasted off into the suborbital space for some time. So both the companies are planning to sell out tickets, and many people have already registered themselves with the companies and are looking forward to it.
Soon after Bezos’s and Branson’s travel to space, Elon Musk also planned to launch SpaceX’s first civilian mission in September 2021. While these billionaires were watched over by at least millions of people across the globe, scientists brought in the theories that space tourism could be hazardous.
About Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic is one of the most popular space tourism companies. It was founded by the English entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson in 2004. Virgin Galactic’s mission is to make access to space affordable and available for everyone – not just for astronauts or wealthy people who can pay for expensive trips on a spacecraft, but for anyone who wants to experience weightlessness and have a taste of citizen space exploration.
Virgin Galactic’s mission is to make access to space available and affordable for everyone, not just astronauts or the wealthy who can afford expensive trips on a spacecraft, but for anyone else with a passion for space exploration. The company has already made seven successful flights since its inception in 2004.
Virgin Galactic makes use of the most advanced rocket-powered aircraft technology available in order to reach heights that no other commercial space flight has been able to before. In addition, Virgin Galactic also provides training and resources for space tourists who wish to take their experience a step further by gaining knowledge about the environment and physics of space.
Despite the controversies surrounding the space tourism industry, there is no denying the exhilarating experiences it offers to individuals. Virgin Galactic’s seventh trip stands as a testament to the tremendous strides made in this arena. This successful mission not only showcased the capabilities of modern technology but also brought forth a renewed sense of hope and excitement for potential space tourists around the globe. The voyage exemplified the company’s commitment to safety and innovation, providing a glimpse into the future of recreational space travel. Virgin Galactic’s seventh trip has indeed set a high benchmark for future space adventures endeavors.
As space adventures havee become immensely popular, the FAA or Federal Aviation Administration largely overlooks the consequences. When venturing into space exploration, pollution increased simultaneously. Let’s take a look at how this is affecting the environment.
- Virgin Galactic manufactures their spacecraft that are powered by hybrid engines. These engines are quite harmful to the environment as they burn rubber and other fuels, thereby producing harmful soot.
- Even though space tourism flights last for half an hour, it generates pollution that is equal to a 10 hour Atlantic flight.
- Even the smallest particles of aluminum and soot can severely impact the atmosphere.
However, Bezos’s New Shepard is considered the cleanest of the lot’s space adventures industry. Blue Origin uses liquid oxygen and hydrogen to build thrust on the spacecraft, and the emissions contain some carbon dioxide and little combustion products, with a major portion of water.
But this does not mean that space flights are harmless as they emit cleaner products. A substantial amount of power and electricity is required to manufacture liquid oxygen and hydrogen. The amount of water exhausted from the rockets holds the probability of increasing the density of clouds, thereby affecting the layers of the upper atmosphere.
The biggest adventure
In 1967, Barron Hilton, the former president of Hilton Hotels, dreamt of a hotel on the moon. He envisioned that there would be a Galaxy Lounge where visitors would be enjoying a glass of martini while glaring at the stars. This dream can only be turned into reality by a wealthy person.
Since then, space tourism has progressed a long way, with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin. Virgin Galactic is deemed the first commercial space tourism of the earth. It offers a flight of 2.5 hours where people can experience at least six minutes of weightlessness and get some of the magnificent views of space. This spaceflight company has also received applications from at least 700 people looking forward to boarding their flights to space.
On the other hand, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are also looking forward to contributing to this. Even though space tourism is for the ultra-rich people amongst the lot, it is not very unusual in tourism history. We also believe that space tourism will soon become an on-demand adventure, inflating the economy and making people aware of the earth’s vulnerability.
Almost every other tourist on this planet has crossed boundaries to explore and experience new places. Just like people are choosing to travel, they are also looking forward to space tourism, and you will get to experience how fast the industry of space travel expands.
Space Tourism – the next big disaster
Regardless of how innovative and lucrative space tourism may sound, it is equally dangerous for both civilians and the earth. Back in November, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act limited the regulatory oversight for at least eight years. Through this act, the council blamed the passengers instead of the companies.
Even though it is great news for exploration and innovation, it isn’t for those willing to travel to space. There have been many casualties and catastrophic failures in the last two years. Many say that space tourists travel at their own risk; however, the impact of space travel falls entirely on the whole planet, which means that traveling to space is risky.
Owners of commercial spaceflight companies argue that space travel reveals a smaller carbon footprint when compared to normal air travel. On the other hand, scientists believe that the emissions from rockets indulge greater risks and are harmful to the earth. Since these emissions cannot be washed away by wind or rain, these harmful carbons linger in the stratosphere for several years.
These can lead to a grim picture of the earth we live in. The ozone layer will deplete, ice will melt, increasing the temperature and heating the world. Living can eventually become difficult. So space tourism is possibly a threat to our environment.
What can a space tourist expect at the International Space Station?
Space tourists embarking on a journey to the International Space Station (ISS) can anticipate an exceptionally unique experience. As of today, seven space tourists have had the chance to visit the ISS, thanks to the Russian Space Agency’s initiative. The Virgin Galactic’s waiting list continues to grow as more and more people are intrigued by the prospect of embarking on a journey aboard its space plane.
The Virgin Galactic’s rocket ship, designed for suborbital flights, takes off from the company’s spaceport, located in the city of Truth or Consequences, N.M. The spaceport, also known as Spaceport America, sits near Truth and is designed to handle multiple launches per day in the future. Despite the hefty price tag, the allure of viewing Earth from space and the excitement of weightlessness are simply too hard to resist for those on the waiting list. The anticipation is palpable as every future space tourist eagerly awaits their turn for a journey that promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.
The ISS, which orbits Earth at 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 km/h), is the cornerstone of space exploration and the most popular destination for space tourists. During their journey, tourists get to experience some amazing sights such as the thin atmosphere around our planet and the galaxies visible in all directions. They also get to observe a rare glimpse into a zero-gravity environment, allowing them to experience phenomena such as the floating and spinning of water droplets.
The ISS is also home to a variety of experiments focusing on various topics such as space biology, astronomy, engineering, and more. As international astronauts work on their projects in real-time while tourists observe from a distance – the journey to the ISS offers a truly unique experience for anyone who is lucky enough to take part in it.
Space tourism has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of our universe and beyond. But there are also dangers associated with this new industry, from carbon emissions to safety concerns. As space exploration continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how these issues play out as we move further into the future.
Is it worth for space tourists?
Well, this can be a tricky question to answer. Space tourism can be worth any day because it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you can get a glimpse of space. But if we think about the consequences and their effect on earth, it might be a matter of concern.
Getting to see earth, moon, sun, stars, and other planets from high up above makes it awe-inducing. The overview effect greatly impacts the minds who get to see it. Commercial space travel has no goals because it is a complete joyride.
You can now travel to space. These space tourism companies take their space tourists only to the suborbital space and come back to the earth’s surface by intersecting its trajectory.
Is Space Tourism safe?
We can’t say if space tourism is entirely safe because all the technologies are still under renovation. Space tourism companies can further furnish these to keep their travelers safe.
However, space tourism is not completely safe for the environment we live in. The harmful emissions from the spaceflights thoroughly affect the environment we live in.
Until the space tourism industry does not take necessary precautions while developing its tourism sector, risks will continue to prevail. On the other hand, the Federal Aviation Administration is exponentially overseeing the environmental threats caused by space tourism companies. So everyone needs to take care of the risk factors before heading for an adventure to outer space.