As time progresses, so do the possibilities amongst the stars. From luxury space station hotels to flights into space as soon as 2022, the new space industry has taken the market by storm, making for a thrilling yet expensive new vacation adventure.
Since the beginning of time, man has occupied what we know as earth, looking outward to the skies with curiosity and fascination. In the beginning, it was a race as to who could breach the hemisphere; then, it was the first to put their boots on the moon. Now, space exploration has evolved. Major corporations have now focused on bringing space closer to individuals on earth who don’t claim the title of astronaut or physicist.
Space Tourism: Suborbital & Orbital
The first steps in Space Tourism are suborbital trips and orbital trips. The main difference between the two is the speed at which the vehicle is traveling and the length of time you spend outside of the earth’s atmosphere. Suborbital, in simpler terms, means that the rocket will cross the boundary of space but will not be going fast enough to completely stay in space, whereas an orbital trip will be going at a velocity strong enough to stay in space.
There are two companies competing to be the first suborbital commercial flight team, and that is Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin. Earlier this year, we witnessed Richard Branson’s brainchild Virgin Galactic take a new step in the exploration of the final frontier. Richard Branson and three other employees marked the first-time a spaceflight company founder has traveled on his own ship into outer space. With this milestone crossed, Branson is now focused on looking outward, as he plans on having regular paid passenger service flights to begin as soon as 2022. His trip will reach an altitude of 1000 kilometers, just enough to look down upon the earth, giving six lucky passengers paying $450,000 a ticket a unique experience for space observation. To many, it can be considered questionable due to the high cost for such a short time, but only a select few individuals who have occupied this earth have had the opportunity to touch the stars.
The perception of space is slowly changing, it is becoming more accessible slowly but surely. Likewise, tech mogul Elon Musk and his company SpaceX have their sights on the world above, also working towards making space tourism come to fruition. However, his focus revolves around orbital tourism. Whereas a suborbital just breach the earth’s surface, orbital trips will be 200x the length of the trip as Virgin Galactic and will act as the preliminary stages for interplanetary trips. Nearly three months ago, flight Inspiration4 was the first orbital launch of an all-private crew. Morgan Stanley’s research forecasts that the global space industry could generate a revenue of USD1 trillion or more in 2040.
Media in Space
The New Space industry is made to push the boundaries as we know it, the final frontier has now been opened to those who wish to explore it. This is not only due to tourism but other endeavors. Russia and the United States have both been chasing one another to space, constantly trying to beat the other. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, has made it their goal as of recently to become the first country in the world to film a movie in space.
Russia has taken the first step by approving a plan for an actress and a director to be sent off into the stars to film the first-ever full-length, fictional movie in space. The movie is called “The Challenge,” which tells a story of a doctor launched on short notice to the International Space Station to save the life of a cosmonaut. On the other hand, you have Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise reportedly partnering with SpaceX to film an action movie in space. Space tourism is just a small pawn in a large industry revolving around space.
No one can tell what is to come in the final frontier. Will there be interplanetary travel? Who will open the first space hotel? There have been talks in the past couple of years of the Aurora Station Luxury Hotel, which offers a 12-night stay for US9.5 million, making for one of the most adventurous yet pricey vacations known to man. 2020 provided a collective feeling of longing to be outside the house.
For now, a nice trip across the country or camping trip can be one of the more adventurous things, but in the near future, the boundaries every human has been bound by will be broken down, and one may find themselves in the stars. It is not palpably clear what the space frontier will offer us entirely, but we know that science is ever-evolving, and the sky’s the limit, literally.
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