Space Tourism

Will routine space travel for pleasure be sustainable for the planet?

Traveling to space is a life-long dream of hundreds and thousands of people. Movies like “Star Wars,” “Prometheus,” “Aliens,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “A Space Odyssey,” “Apollo 11,” and “Avengers: End Game” have increased the urge in many people to visit space. But through space tourism, traveling to space is now possible. In this golden era, as space travel is turning into a reality, companies are planning to send people to space for several minutes.

Private space-traveling involves taking care of the pollution-related issues, rigid training all the private rocketeers have to go through, and the high cost. Experts also have to predict and understand how people will benefit from this tourism from a behavioral and psychological standpoint. It’s also essential to know whether taking part in private space travel can shape human behavior in sustainable behavior.

This question might be perceived as nonsense, but in fact, spatial rockets and industries are pretty far away from being an example of sustainability. But the actual definition of sustainability delivers a different viewpoint that might add towards the psychological value of space tourism, at least from a theoretical perspective.

Space Tourism: the definition

Before we can jump to the actual part, let’s just take some time to learn what exactly space travel or tourism really is.

Space tourism is all about humans traveling to space for leisure or recreational purposes. So, the main reason behind this tourism is human pleasure, just like all the other tourists available. Space tourism is divided into lunar, suborbital, and orbital space tourism.

Orbital space tourism is all about traveling at high speeds, which is around 17,400 mph, and will enable a rocket to orbit around planet Earth. Suborbital tourism is slower, which is around 3,700 mph, and it will fly into space directly and then back down.

Subtropical space travel is the most common travel option provided by companies. Lastly, lunar space travel involves visiting the moon. Apart from being known as commercial space travel, this particular tourism is also defined as stargazing and watching rocket launches.

Optimistic sentiments and supportable behavior

Under this section, you will learn about two important: sustainable or supportable behavior and optimistic sentiments or positive emotions. Let’s dig in.

1.     Sustainable behavior

Supportable or sustainable behavior is a group of actions that benefit the entire humanity and the natural setting. Prosocial behaviors are viewed as an example of bearable actions when referring to aiding individuals and doing something to preserve their natural setting.

Sustainable behaviors are usually built based on the belief that it’s crucial to properly understand the intricacy of the natural setting. It is also about becoming conscious of the significance of people’s behavior as they influence the planet’s integrity.

One of the most crucial characteristics of sustainable behavior is that analytically and theoretically, positive emotions and sustainability. Optimistic sentiments are known to adopt the following helping behavior and vice versa.

For instance, studies have provided evidence that persuading the impression of love by asking to save recollection of a love episode had a positive effect in compliance to a demand made by a spectator who asked for assistance.

When it’s measured through the self-reports of determination to assist or new records of aiding behaviors, people who engage in bearable actions have reported a high level of satisfaction. Besides that, it has also reported a high level of psychological well-being, generally speaking, and self-efficacy.

2.     Positive emotions

In positive emotions, they are associated with much greater feelings. When you broaden cognition, the optimistic sentiments create inclusive social categorization. It later forms sensations of oneness, aiding behavior towards the people and also to their natural setting. In such a regard, individuals can wonder whether or not space tourism can provide some contribution.

For example, when the CEO of Amazon and founder of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, returned to Earth from his trip to space, his first words were:

 “It felt extremely good. This is the only best planet in the entire solar system and we have to take very good care of it. Once you go to space and get to see how fragile our planet is, it will make you want to protect it a lot more.”

These words from Bezos testify how optimistic sentiments can easily fuel up a person’s longing to experience helping behavior situations and be involved in preservation practices. But people sometimes argue that the relation between sustainable behavior and positive emotions is not always that simple. 

This might be true when referring to an extreme setting like space. Space missions are always characterized through several psychological and physical stressors, which are:

  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Microgravity.
  • Sensory deprivation.
  • Isolation.
  • Confinement.

All these things might impact the subsequent engagement and affective responses in bearable actions differently.

Studies on positive emotions and sustainable behavior

Many studies have provided evidence on positive emotions. One study showed that paying a visit to the botanic garden to foster all the optimistic emotions and the importance of preserving plants did not generate any high level of interest.

It also did not generate the commitment towards the preservation practices compared with various other types of visits [For instance: visiting the zoo, museum, etc.]. This particular finding shows that observing susceptibility doesn’t lead towards the acceptance of sustainable behaviors.

The “awareness of the Earth” effect

One aspect that might strengthen the connection between sustainable behavior and space tourism is the focus on the perception of planet Earth. This is because it’s connected with bearable behaviors and positive emotions and Earth’s global vision has led to the existence of positive emotions. 

This might appear as a mood induction method where people are exposed to a group of optimistic-laden images or a comedy movie to increase their mood towards the positive side. This clearly shows that individuals who experience all the positive emotions keep their concentration on the global processing. 

This finding indicates that perceiving the planet Earth can easily trigger positive emotions. In other words, the generation of emotions and global optical processing are connected somehow. 

For instance, Cosmonaut Lebedev wrote in this diary that Earth’s vision was positive and restful to him, which greatly helped him survive during the 211-day Salyut 7 mission. 

Additionally, the number and type of Earth images taken regularly by the astronauts during their mission at the ISS or International Space Station communicate the desire to act to preserve the planet’s beauty.

Getting to know about the first tourist in space

Since the topic is space tourism, you might want to know when exactly this tourism started and who was the first-ever tourist to visit space. Space travel or tourism began on 30th April 2001, and the first tourist to go to space was Dennis Tito. 

Tito is a US millionaire who visited the ISS on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He spent a whopping $20 million to turn his dream into reality, which mirrors the present condition of space travel – the richest individuals across the globe are at the front.

The Russian Soyuz rockets transported over 7 tourists to the International Space Station or ISS between the years 2001 to 2009. This space travel was a part of Space Adventures, and the ticket cost between $20 million to $25 million.


Positive emotions are instantly generated in astronauts when they travel to space during their missions, space tourism can do the same for all the tourists traveling to space. In return, it will also facilitate sustainable behaviors. Through space tourism, there would be an intriguing and challenging route for future study in this field.

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