Space Tourism: Can A Common Man Fly To Space?
After Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos became the other billionaire to fly into space. Well, gone are the days when you needed to become an astronaut to fly to space. In recent years, these billionaires are testing if space tourism is possible or not; well, from next year onwards, space tourism will be possible. It would be just like going on a vacation abroad with the only difference of watching the entire Earth!
Astronauts have been going to space now and then, but in space tourism, you don’t need to undergo any rigorous training to go to space. So what is precisely space tourism? Is it as exciting as it looks? Let’s find that out together!
Decoding Space Tourism
Three billionaires are making space tourism a real thing, namely Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Space tourism is another way of the aviation industry that seeks to give tourists the ability to become astronauts without literally being one. Space travel can be for business purposes or just gaining the opportunity to say – ‘I went to space’. Vehicles that are used to travel to space can be high-altitude jet fighter flights, short-duration suborbital flights, long-duration orbital trips or atmospheric zero-gravity flights. Since space tourism is relatively a new concept, only high-altitude jet fighter flights and atmospheric zero-gravity flights are commercially available to tourists.
What’s The Price Point?
Well, space tourism is extremely expensive, and it’s safe to say that a common man can’t really afford it. The ticket cost ranges from INR 2 crore – 2.5 crore. Even if space tourism becomes a full commercial service by 2022, the price will be lowered , but it would still cost you around INR 30 lakh- 35 lakh. Only a handful of people in the world can afford to purchase a trip to space!
How Would The Experience Look Like?
Well, scientists all over the world believe that space begins at the height of 100 km, which is known as the Karman Line. In simple language, you will be considered in space just as you cross the Karman line. However, in the USA, the government and NASA believes that the boundary line between Earth’s atmosphere and space starts at the height of 80 km. Nonetheless, the moment you cross the boundary, you will be able to see the curvature of the Earth, and dark sky. You will also experience zero-gravity and true weightlessness. However, for complete safe travel to space, the space tourism sector needs more advanced technologies.
Space Tourism’s Impact On The Environment
Well, all things said and done; currently, space tourism is not safe from an environmental point of view. For example – the Virgin Galactic Trip to the edge of space undertaken by Richard Branson emitted 12 kgs of CO2 in the atmosphere, a difference of 60 times if compared to a normal flight’s CO2 emissions. The flight also released a harmful gas called Nitrous Oxide, which leads to Ozone layer depletion. Apart from that, the heat generated during the rocket’s takes off from the land can contribute to global warming.
Check out a brief experience here: