Space tourism is a very interesting topic to discuss. It has always been very curious to follow the space news to find out what’s new.
For a long time space tourism topic has become a controversial agenda. This is because of the speculations made by Elon Musk – founder, CEO, and chief engineer at the space agency known as “SpaceX”. We will discuss what is the progress in mission mars by SpaceX more, further in the article.
Also, let us find out what are possibilities related to space tourism. Before that let us know more about space tourism and related organizations. Also, the achievements so far too.
1. What is Space Tourism?
Space tourism refers to “space travelling and exploration for recreational purposes”. Space travel includes three types that are as follows:
- Sub-orbital Space Tourism
- Orbital Space Tourism
- Lunar Space Tourism
The first man who became a space tourist and proved that space tourism is possible was “Dennis Tito”. He was an American entrepreneur who became the first person who privately paid for space tourism.
He traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) spending $20 million for stay more than a week. This became possible in the year 2001 via Soyuz TM-32.
Before moving on to more on the achievements in space tourism let us first talk about the organizations which carry out these tasks and research work.
2. Organizations for Space Tourism
Nothing can be done without hard work as well as smart work. A group of people with common interests working together turns into an organization.
Such organizations exist for space tourism too. Without them, none of the achievements that we will look further in the coming section of the article, would not have come true.
In these organizations, where people sharing common interests and intellectual abilities too interact with each other. This is to bring not only imaginable but also, sometimes unimaginable to reality.
Let’s see some of these world-famous organizations:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration in short, NASA is considered the no. 1 Space organization in the space category according to the Fast Company’s annual list which gives names of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2023.
It was established in the year 1958. The main aim of NASA is to be responsible for the science and technology which are connected to the air and space.
The U.S. was shocked to see the achievement of the Soviet Union in their space mission Sputnik 1. Next the U.S. launched its first successful space mission via Explorer 1 in the year 1958, on January 31.
Indian Space Research Organization in short, ISRO is growing speedily in the field of space. It was established in the year 1969 to extend its organization from research to space technology as well.
Formerly, it was known as the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) when launched by the Govt. of India under the leadership of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai in the year 1962.
The first space mission of ISRO in the year 1975 was the launch of the satellite named after the famous astronomer of India, Aryabhata. Although it was designed and manufactured in India the carrier was a Soviet Kosmos-3M rocket.
Russian Federation Space Agency, in short, RFSA was launched in the year 1992. Again, the first space mission carried out by the Soviet Union in the year 1957, the Sputnik 1.
It is a part of the International Space Station (ISS) and also it is responsible for the development of the various space launchers and advancing the infrastructure.
European Space Agency, in short ESA, had its first headquarters in Paris. It was launched in the year 1975. Initially, it was comprised of 10 member states which later on, turned into 22 member states.
This was responsible for carrying out tasks that are beyond the capacity of a single nation. The first mission that was carried out by them was the CryoSat-1 in the year 2015. It aimed to study the Earth’s polar ice caps. This mission was known as “Environmental Science and Glaciology”.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in short, JAXA was established in the year 2003. It aims to work on research, development, and utilization.
Their first successful mission was to launch an H-IIA rocket which placed a satellite into orbit on 26 February in the year 2003. But this successful mission was first a failure when launched earlier. This rocket was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center.
These were a few of the world’s best and most famous space organizations which are making space tourism possible. Now it is time for us to look further what are the achievements so far in the field of space missions.
3. Achievements So Far In Space Tourism
The space era commenced with the launch of the satellite named Sputnik 1 in the year 1957 by the Soviet Union. To know more about the launch of it and how it affected the other nations, click here.
After this achievement, various other nations such as the U.S.A got into action and added on so many achievements by carrying out great missions which seemed highly difficult. But the revolution that came in the aerospace field brought answers to several mysteries too.
Let us start with the great successes that have been achieved so far in space tourism:
3.1. First Human on Moon
In the year 1969, the American space agency NASA became the first agency to reach the moon and not only this. But also, successfully landed the first human “Neil Armstrong” who stepped on the moon first and brought him and his crew back to Earth safely in Apollo 11.
3.2. International Space Station
Then the next achievement was when NASA and ROSCOSMOS merged to form the International Space Station in the year 1998 in the lower Earth orbit area. Later on, joined the space agencies of Japan, Canada, and Europe.
3.3. India’s Mission to Moon
In the year 2008, “Chandrayaan 1” was launched by ISRO that was successful in finding the traces of water on the surface of the moon. Later on, “Chandrayaan 2“ was launched in the year 2019 and aimed at reaching the south pole part of the moon which is so far unexplored. Although, “Chandrayaan 3” is ready to launch.
3.4. Interplanetary Mission
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Russian space agency carried out a successful mission to land on planets like Venus and Mars for the first time.
3.5. India’s Mission to Mars
Recently in the year 2013, India<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”> became the first Asian country to reach the mars and world’s first space agency to reach Mars orbit in the first attempt. The mission was called “Mangalyaan“.
3.6. Mission Juno
3.7. Mission Cassini
NASA’s solar system exploration also included the visit to the planet Saturn by Cassini. It took almost 13 years to visit there. But it got out of its fuel been in space for these many years exploring the solar system.
3.8. Mission New Horizon
The mission called New Horizon was launched by NASA in the year 2006. Which aimed to explore the smallest and least known planet Pluto. It took 10 years instead of 14 years with the help of Jupiter’s gravity assist.
These were a few of the greatest achievements of the space agencies of the world. We got a lot of information related to our solar system and different planets. Space exploration going great and a lot more mysteries are there to be answered in the future.
4. Mars Visit – Possible or Not?
The planet Mars has always been in our eyes to find out whether life is possible there or not. To find the answer to this mystery the space agencies are working hard on it. Several missions have been made to Mars for the same.
4.1. Discoveries – Mars Surface
Let us find out what discoveries that have been made about Mars so far. What made us think that life could be possible there?
4.1.1. Traces of Water on Mars
It has been found that the water was present on Mars in the past. It was speculated about 100 feet of water could have been present. In the year 2006, NASA released the photos that were taken by their rover up in space.
Speculations were made that around 2000s the water existed on the surface of Mars. This is because of the evidence found in the pictures of its surface. In which, the dark gullies known as recurring slope lineae were visible.
NASA found the presence of hydrated salts but at the times, when seasons were widest at its features. This is what gave the conclusion that the dark streaks could have been made by the source of water.
For more read here.
4.1.2. Presence of Organic Carbon
The Mars Curiosity rover made another discovery in the year 2022. It was when NASA confirmed that organic carbon is there on Mars. Also, it was not just a speculation but the measurements made on a sample of a rock that was drilled from a lake on Mars called Gale Crater. This rock was 3.5 billion years old too.
This organic carbon content is a lot more than we could find on Earth’s rocks in a few places like the Atacama Desert in South America. We all know organic carbon is a carbon bond to a hydrogen atom. Although, this discovery does not give any evidence of life ever existed on Mars. As non-living components also release carbon content.
For more read here.
4.1.3. Thinner Atmosphere
The Mars atmosphere is very thin compared to the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover, it is mostly made up of carbon content. Thus making it difficult to let the water content stay on the surface of Mars. The water content gets easily evaporated or gets frozen. Despite these problems, scientists are trying to find out a technology that could transform Mars’ atmosphere. But recent technology is not that advanced and capable of doing so.
The process called terraforming is not possible yet because of obstacles like:
- Mars’ atmospheric pressure is very less. It is about just 1% of Earth’s atmospheric pressure.
- It has been measured that even if we did everything to increase Mars’ atmospheric pressure, then also, we won’t get thicker than 7% of Earth’s atmospheric pressure.
For more read here.
4.1.4. Presence of Methane in Atmosphere
Methane gas has been found on the Mars surface by the Curiosity rover. But it’s only about a pinch of sugar if put into the swimming pool of the Olympics. Also, the problem among scientists was that not all devices were able to detect methane on Mars. ESA (European Space Agency) sent its ExoMars trace gas orbiter to detect not a single hint of methane in the higher layers of Mars’s atmosphere.
The presence of methane was so fascinating because on earth the microbes are the ones producing methane. Which is then used by live stocks to digest the food and exhale the gas back into the air. Again, it does not confirm the existence of life on Mars because geological processes can be the reason for the same.
For more read here.
4.1.5. Health Risks – Cosmic Radiation Level
The cosmic radiation level on Mars is a very crucial health issue for astronauts to travel through space. It is so high that it can increase the risk of cancer, and damage the human body affecting the brain and its nervous system. Along with heart issues too.
The earth’s magnetic field besides its atmosphere plays a vital role in protecting humans from cosmic rays that travel as speedily as light and have the capability to penetrate human skin. But Mars lacks this protection layer and thus can even create cataract problems in astronauts.
Physicist Marco Durante is a cosmic radiation researcher, who says that spending one day on Mars is equal to receiving radiation on Earth in a whole year. When this is creating problems in space exploration it will cause health risks for humans too. Also, makes life difficult to exist on Mars.
For more read here.
Now let us talk about the mission to Mars by a space agency named “SpaceX”. Will it be able to make life possible on Mars? Will it provide a vacation to the travelers?
4.2. SpaceX Mission – Mars and Beyond
Elon Musk – the CEO of the space agency “SpaceX” announced in the year 2016 that he and his company will take humans to Mars by the year 2026. In addition, aims at making the human species multi-planetary and not just limited to Earth only. So he announced the round trip of humans – to Mars and Back.
Mars Trip – Why Not Other Planet First?
Why did SpaceX choose the planet Mars and not any other planet to have a round trip? The reasons lie here:
- First, has days nearly as long as Earth, here.
- Second, it is near enough to the Sun that it can at least receive a decent amount of sunlight.
- Also, it is one of the closest planets to Earth.
- Moreover, it gravity is approx. 38% of Earth.
- Lastly, they believe since carbon, nitrogen, and other elements are present the plants can be grown compressing the Mars’ atmosphere.
For this mission to be successful he has asked his company to give first priority to the Starship rocket. It is a fully reusable transportation that can carry crew and cargo as well. The company claims that the starship will be the world’s most powerful rocket that will be having the capability of carrying around 150 metric tonnes and will be fully reusable too. Furthermore, the rest of the 250 metric tonnes can be expendable.
Read more about the mission: Mars & Beyond
This is all we have got for now. It is time to wait and see if will it be true what Elon Musk and SpaceX have announced. we can only wait to know whether the mission: of Mars and Beyond will be successful or not.
5. Final Note
You see how interesting it is to know what’s all have been achieved so far by the space agencies. For making humans interplanetary species the agencies are working day and night to make it possible. The research to know our solar system and galaxy better is continue since the era of space exploration commenced in the year 1957 with Sputnik 1.
Firstly, Moon and now humans want to go further and land on Mars<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”>. This is how humans have always been – curious and greedy. The thrust of getting more never stops. And again, the universe is so vast that this thrust will keep going like this for centuries. The way the universe has no end, the curiosity doors as well do not have any end. They will keep on opening one after another.
The way scientists and space agencies are working along finding a way out to land on the red planet. It doesn’t seem impossible anymore. Although, the technology is not so advanced and capable too. That can bring alterations in Mars’ atmosphere to make it favorable.
Space exploration is providing humans with such unbelievable pictures of space and the universe. Agency like NASA never fails at astonishing us providing us experience through images. The breath taking pictures are collected by the rovers and satellites up in space. The universe is BEAUTIFUL!
Lastly we can wait and watch, what’s more in the box to reveal. Let’s EXPLORE!