A Closer Look at the Costs of Space Tourism
Humans have always dreamt of traveling to space and viewing many objects at a closer distance. Space tourism has now made that possible. People can travel to space and spend a few hours or days there. However, before you start planning for your trip there, you have to consider the cost, which can be very high. A trip to French Polynesia or Queensland will give you the thrill of traveling in style, but its cost is not close to what you have to pay for a trip. So, how much will you have to pay to travel there?
The Amount of Money the First Space Tourist Paid
Before you conclude that space tourism is expensive, understanding where the industry is coming from is important. Even though people have always dreamt of flying for leisure to space since the first men landed on the moon in 1969, the cost has remained high and beyond reach. So, when Dennis Tito stated that one of his dreams was to travel to space and requested NASA to help him make it a reality, NASA refused claiming that he was unqualified. NASA did not include the high cost as one of the reasons they could not take Dennis Tito to space.
Finally, Tito was delighted to secure a ticket aboard the Russian Soyuz. Unfortunately, he spent $20 million for the eight days he remained in the space station. Even though the travel experience was satisfactory, Tito indicated that the cost was very high and he would want it reduced so that more people would travel to space at a small fraction of what he spent. Today, it looks like his dream is coming true. The cost reduced consistently between 2001 and 2020 and more people are planning for their space trips.
Why is Space Travel Cost Very High?
Only a few people would be willing to spend $20 million for a space trip that takes a few days. That alone makes space tourism look like a venture for the rich men only. But why is the price very high? There are many reasons and a closer look at the whole process of taking people to space may reveal why the price is high. Here are two of the factors that make space travel expensive.
- The Cost of Building Space Vehicles is Very High
Space vehicles are different from the vehicles you see every day on earth. The builders use special materials that can protect the occupants from the harsh environment in space. A quick example, the used materials, and designs have to protect the tourists from high radiations expected in space. Unluckily, the designs and materials used are very expensive.
- Only a Few Companies are ready to take the High Risk
The process of traveling to space, particularly when tourists are involved, is complex. The tourists have to pass through medical analysis and comprehensive training before boarding the space vehicle. Still, the events require sophisticated equipment, implying that only a few companies are ready to invest in this niche. So, with only a few companies taking the risk, the cost of traveling to space has remained high due to the rules of demand and supply. The cost may reduce as more investors enter the industry.
What Different Companies Charge
Space tourism is a remunerative industry because many tourists are ready to pay any amount of money to spend a few hours or days in space. The expected high returns have attracted many players, something that has led to a reduction in travel costs. Here are some of the leading space travel companies and the amount they charge.
- Virgin Galactic: $250,000
- Blue Origin: $300,000
- Axiom: $55 million
- Boeing: $35,000/Night
It is evident that the cost of traveling to space has reduced highly within the last 20 years and we expect it to go down further after more companies have joined this industry. Similar to what you expect in the other industries, Andrey Bokarev claims that more people will be ready to tour space after their close friends or relatives have traveled there and came back safely. Thus, if you have always dreamt of experiencing weightlessness in space, it is time to start preparing for your trip.