Space Tourism is a luxurious and futuristic concept. It refers to the recreational activity of travelling to space. There is a possibility that individuals will be able to travel to space for non-economic and life-changing activities.
The Beginning Of Space Tourism
In recent years, many big organizations have been talking about the possibility of sending civilians to space for leisure activities instead of governmental professionals, i.e., NASA astronauts.
Space Tourism started in the 1990s when Russian company MirCorp sold a flight to space to businessman Dennis Tito in 2001. The concept of space tourism has started to develop. Currently, it is still in its initial stage. The research and development of passenger flights have started.
Will Space Tourism Be A Common Place?
Space tourism is exclusive!
According to a report, space tourism is worth at least 469 billion dollars. The idea of space tourism feels like a sci-fi film, but the reality is that it has been around us for almost 20 years. Space economy will include the production of goods and services such as mining. All the commercial activities carried out on earth would be shifted to space.
With the increase in space tourism, travelling to outer space would be as easy as booking a flight ticket. It is expected that a huge difference will reduce the cost of space tourism. The scientists will be using cost-cutting techniques to develop space rockets.
Based on current timelines, space tourism is not becoming a common space anytime soon. However, it is starting to take a step forwards. Tito’s trip to space cost around 20 million dollars, remaining a dream for many people and can be fulfilled only through novels and movies.
Several businesses are engaging in tourism activities. However, many commercial companies such as Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are trying to make this dream reality by reducing travel costs. Space hotels will be developed instead of making tourists stay at international space stations. There will be the construction of theme hotels where the walls would have images of different galaxies same as you watch a movie on a plasma TV.
Space tourism will allow people to travel to different continents faster as the flights will travel above the earth’s atmosphere, increasing the wonderment of common people. What now is a twenty-hour journey would be a merely two-and-a-half-hour journey. This would also provide employment opportunities to many skilled and unskilled labourers; hence we can expect an increase in the country’s GDP.
Staying in space for at least one full orbit is possible? Not currently, but in the future! Orbital space tourism involves travelling to space with enough velocity that you go up orbiting around instead of falling back.
Taking a vacation to space for one complete orbit will be possible in the future. Such vacations are set to become a popular trend. This is the main focus of government and private space companies.
How long will such a trip last? It can last as long as you live! Orbital travel is for people who prefer long trips over short trips. This involves companies developing rockets for taking tourists up there, brokering such experiences, and building a habitat for tourists to visit.
Space infrastructure would include orbital or lunar-based hotels. There would be hydrogen-filled balloon hotel rooms utilizing the earth’s gravity. There will be a time when you will travel to space on the same flight as Elon Musk.
Will Space Tourism Ever Be A Reality?
Humans are known to discover unknown and new scientific worlds. Travelling to space for leisure activities is still a dream. The space industry is expected to evolve in the next decade. The tourism market is expected to increase by a huge percentage.
The hunt for new and adventurous experiences leads to the craze for new things. Also, with the pandemic, people have started to live fruitfully by emptying their savings. Hence they are willing to spend on space tourism. Spending time in outer space would allow intelligent minds to dig deep into different theories, solve the unsolved, experience new life in space, and gaze down on earth with a new perspective.
Spending more time on research and development of space tourism would help in solving some of the major mysteries of the world, such as:
• What was the time before Big Bang?
• What exactly is dark matter?
• What is the hypothesis of string theory?
• Speed and area at which the universe is expanding?
•Does a parallel universe exist? Is there someone similar to you somewhere?
• Is there alien life?
All such questions could be solved with ground-breaking research once space tourism becomes a common place for people. Travelling to space for business purposes or for conducting deals would be accustomed. Construction of buildings, offices, and residential areas increases the possibility of life in space.
Due to increased global warming, the earth might end up in flames shortly. We need a backup. This can be solved with the possibility of life on Mars. If this happens, then many ordinary people would have to visit space. Hence, space tourism could be a great starting point.
In the future, we’ll have the opportunity to understand how human life works from space. Also, the psychological changes of being in space for a long period.
Role Of Technology And Engineers
Space Tech is the implementation of engineering principles of design and operation of devices. It can be used to explore another planet or the universe where life might exist.
Possibility of working from space? Yes, you got it! With more advancements in technology, there will be offices in space. The ‘home’ in work from home will be space. AI could be used for architectural purposes of the infrastructure of space tourism. Construction of international space stations, habitats, rockets, and launch pads.
With satellites circling space, it would become easier to predict weather forecasts or to observe the major change in climate patterns on earth. We can predict earthquake patterns, floods, drought, crop production, and many more things on earth with technology.
The most important task is the power generation of spacecraft. For this, we need knowledgeable and reliable engineers and data scientists on whom people can rely. You can expect the development of high-power engines that use less fuel, thus reducing running costs. A power failure in orbit will be disastrous for people and crew.
The spaceships would use solar panels for energy generation as they are environment-friendly and cheaper. They convert solar energy into electrical energy. One disadvantage of using solar panels is that as we move away from the sun’s radiation, we might lose this energy source.
However, technology can help us find an alternative to this issue. We can expect cheaper and better solar cells. Using nuclear reactors will provide a source of energy for commercial space flights. Nuclear energy is highly suited for such types of devices.
Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy. They are a reliable source of energy. They are environmental sources of energy.
Robots are widely used devices used to perform different tasks, which have made people’s lives easier. Robots can be used for space exploration. They can be sent to space to perform different tasks. This can range from maintenance to construction.
They can be used as a substitute for astronauts. They can provide cinematic videos of pictures of galaxies. The major advantage is that there would be no loss of life if something distressing happened.
Along with this, there would be no need for a return trip which helps in saving cost and fuel. We discussed the construction of hotels, buildings, and many more things. How would such activities work out? How many would humans risk their lives to go to space and develop these things?
The answer is space robots! Robotic sensors can give information such as temperature, atmosphere, wind speed, pollution, and crop yield in space. They can withstand harsh and extreme conditions. They can reach places not accessible to humans.
Robotic spacecraft do not require any humans on board. Everything is automated with the latest AI technology.
What Other Sectors Will Benefit From Space Tourism?
The space sector, which is growing in itself, also supports other sectors. These include the following:
- Civil Engineering
- Military and National Security
- Earth Science
- Space Engineering
- Space Architecture
- Space Farming
Will Space Tourism Pose a Risk?
With the increase in demand, space tourism would become more accessible, resulting in increased risks. The first risk is the change in climate patterns. Huge emissions of fuels can lead to an increase in global warming. Now imagine this emission multiple times.
The space economy will have a detrimental effect on the environment. It will increase dust particles in the atmosphere, which is harmful to the earth’s atmosphere.
Carbon footprint refers to the generation of greenhouse gasses by our actions by food, transportation, and household energy. Taking a space flight can proliferate carbon footprint because a spaceflight can simultaneously carry a limited number of people.
Depletion of the ozone layer is a problem we face now. Space tourism will worsen this situation due to increased CO2 emissions. Another risk will be soot residue left by the rockets while travelling to space which pollutes the stratosphere and cannot be washed away.
Another risk is its availability and affordability. Even though people are willing to spend, they might not benefit from travelling to space for a long time. Also, the cost is expected to be very high, which is not convenient for ordinary people.
Lack of funding is another issue faced. Space exploration is a complicated task and hence requires funds for research and development. It is a challenging area and would cause a huge loss if something goes wrong.
Space tourism has its pros and cons, but that doesn’t mean it will not be a success in the future. Getting government acceptance for different regulations such as loans, launching satellites, and moving to outer space may be difficult. There is concern that the funds spent on space tourism could be used for other important purposes.’
We have been living on earth for a long time, but there is still a lot left for us to explore and one of the main things is space tourism. This generation and the next generation are expected to have a life in space. They will work, stay and live in space.
Will space tourism be an exciting scientific benefit to all, or would it be used by the wealthy leaving ordinary people on earth? Nobody knows the answer to this, but we can expect that there will be living in space shortly.
Research and space exploration could bring new inventions, ideas, and resources to earth. It would serve as the basis of job creation in the future. Power generation and construction of a spaceship for carrying a large number of tourists is an important aspect. The main energy generation sources could be solar cells, nuclear reactors, and fuel cells.
Space tourism will be a huge market. We will see a lot of start-ups segmented with their main focus on space tourism. It would encourage young minds to put the knowledge and experience of space tourism towards the betterment of the earth.
We cannot predict what kind of innovations will be there in the future, but we can predict that there will be several innovations.