It is now common knowledge that in the future space travel will be easier and space will become a common place for people to visit. The act of traveling to space for leisure, business, and recreational purposes is often referred to as Space tourism. Space tourism has been divided into three types and they are orbital, suborbital and lunar space tourism. Presently, only the Russian Space Agency has been able to perform orbital space tourism. However, work has continued on finding a way to develop suborbital space tourism spacecraft. A lot of aerospace corporations have announced their plan to provide the public with space travel. Some of these aerospace corporations include Space X, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin.
As of sometime in 2010, the Russian Space Agency has stopped its orbital space tourism as a result of the increase in the number of people on the International Space Station.
The Space Corporation, Orion Span revealed its plan for the Aurora Station sometime in early April. It has been said that the Aurora Station will be Earth’s first luxury space hotel. The construction of the Aurora Station is scheduled to start sometime in space by 2021. This construction will be done with the corporation’s proprietary technology and construction methodology. However, the rocket system that will be used to launch the spacecraft has not yet been revealed.
The corporation has announced that the Aurora Station will have two private suites with a total of about four guests and two crew members per stay. These guests will have to go through a training program before their trip. Normally, this training program should take about 24 months but the company has announced that it will be able to reduce the time to about three months prior to the visit to the space station. It was also announced that the first step of the certification program will be done online. This is done to make Space Travel easy and simple.
The next step will be performed at the Orion Span’s state of the art training facility in Houston, Texas. The last certification step is done during a traveler’s stay at Aurora Station. The corporation has expressed its interest in partnering with Space X for launching its guests to the Aurora Station. These missions will probably cost about $9.5 million for a person on a 12-day mission which makes it one of the less expensive methods of space tourism.
This corporation was founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2004. Virgin Galactic has expressed its interest in sending tourists on suborbital flights aboard its SpaceShip Two spacecraft which will be launched from an aircraft instead of a rocket. The initial plan was to complete the maiden voyage in 2009, but a number of setbacks have been delaying that trip. The most significant of these setbacks was the one in 2014 when the company lost its VSS Enterprise during a test flight which resulted in the death of the co-pilot Michael Alsbury.
The corporation had sold tickets prior to its setback in 2014; the tickets were on sale for about $200,000 first, then it was later increased to $250,000. The company sold over 700 tickets before the accident. However, a second spacecraft VSS Unity has started its test flights. The corporation has resumed its testing as of April 5 with the VSS Unity which attained an altitude of 84,271 feet.
Space X is often considered as one of the most successful Space Corporation in the world and it was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. This corporation is widely popular for launching satellites. However, the company has announced its plan to send some people on a trip around the moon. This mission was scheduled for 2018 but it has been delayed. The price of this mission has not yet been announced.
Although Space X is not a space tourism corporation, it is operating some cargo mission for NASA and other clients presently. This corporation has designed technology for crewed missions aboard its Dragon spacecraft which is often used to send NASA astronauts to space.
The Space giant known as Space X has shown its interest in flying a group of non-astronaut artists to space on the moon by 2023. Space X intends to take six to eight artists that come from different backgrounds to space to create artworks based on space. This will be the first time that space art will be produced by non-astronauts in space. The company announced that the artists will be chosen from different disciplines including a director, a novelist, a fashion designer, a painter, and a dancer. These artists will also come from different cultural backgrounds and geographical diversity which is essential in making sure that the project has extended reach and tap into the interest and emotions of a large percentage of the population.
Space X has also announced that the BFR starship hopper will also ferry some people around the moon. These people were later revealed to be Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and a group of artists. This event is set to take place sometime in 2023 as the first passenger flight for Space X. The famous space company also has plans to send two BFRs to the Red Planet, Mars in 2022 and four more BFRs in 2024. Two of the four BFRs that are set to be sent to Mars in 2024 will ferry the first humans to Mars while the remaining four will carry the supplies so that they can refuel and return home.
Blue Origin is a space corporation that has announced its new program, known as New Shepard program in honor of the first American in space, Alan Shepard. This new program main purpose is to launch passengers to space in a capsule on top of a rocket, just like in the Gemini, Apollo and Mercury days. This program is still in progress and the corporation is planning to perform its first flight with humans aboard sometime in the late 2018 or early 2019. The corporation is designing the New Shepard reusable suborbital launch system particularly to allow short duration space tourism.
The New Shepard plans to take a maximum of six people on a short duration journey to space. During the test flight on April 29, 2018, the rocket attained an altitude of about 66 miles. This test flight was the eighth and the corporation has not yet started to sell tickets for this flight. These missions will require a day of training which will be done right before the flight. These training will include vehicle overviews, safety briefings and mission simulations.
This corporation is responsible for launching about seven space tourists and it is considered as the only truly successful space tourism presently. However, the organization has not been able to send new guest to the International Space Station as a result of its capacity problem. The corporation is still trying to get new missions including one that will enable guests to take a spacewalk at the International Space Station and also stay at the ISS.
Although this corporation does not have its own spacecraft, it has long been in cooperation with the Roscosmos to send its guests to space with the Soyuz.