There is getting away from it all and soon there will be opportunities for getting 240 miles above it all. That’s right. Soon you can be a space tourist.
The First Orbital Vacation
SpaceX is the corporation behind the first successful commercial launch to the International Space Station. They are working with the space tourism company, Space Adventures.
For an undisclosed price, up to four tourists will ride the Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft to orbit the earth three times at about 250 miles up.
On the Space Adventures website they also offer a flight to within a few hundred kilometers of the moon, a visit to the ISS, and a spacewalk. Cool, huh?
Private Citizens in Space
Seven private citizens have had adventures in space with the help of Space Adventures. Each of them spent more than 20 million each and a lot of time training before their flights.
American Dennis Tito blasted off from Kazakhstan on April 28, 2001, and spent nearly 8 days on the Russian space station.
English/South African businessman Mark Shuttleworth flew Soyuz Flight TM-34 on April 25, 2002.
Gregory Olsen launched onboard Soyuz TMA-7 on October 1, 2005 and took part in a research program for the European Space Agency (ESA) onboard the ISS.
Iran-born, US emigrant, Anousheh Ansari lifted off on Soyuz TMA-9 on September 18, 2006. She conducted experiments onboard the ISS for the ESA.
Hungarian Charles Simonyi flew twice. He started a fourteen-day trip on April 7, 2007, onboard the Soyuz TMA-10. And he returned to space in March 2009, Simonyi onboard Soyuz TMA-14.
On October 12, 2008, onboard Soyuz TMA-13, British-American Richard Garriott was the sixth private citizen in space. And Canadian Guy Laliberte, the seventh and last citizen in space, took the Soyuz TMA-16 on September 30, 2009.
There are several organizations that are working on plans for hotels in space. Each offers an experience of a lifetime.
Orion Span is another Houston-based startup that plans to open a space hotel called Aurora Station in 2022. This hotel would house four guests.
Design with tourism in mind, Aurora Station will feature a spacious interior to move around, large observation windows, personal sleeping quarters, great food, and plenty of activities to stay busy. Guests will build friendships that last a lifetime, and experience something that will change their lives forever.Orion Span
The Gateway Foundation is planning a Von Braun class station. A wheel design, it promises to be a resort level vacation destination and spaceport. We’re not to the point of launching this one yet, but some project it will be open in the 2030s.
Would You Like to be a Space Tourist?
If money weren’t an issue, would you be a space tourist? If I were younger, I surely would.