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The Future of Space Tourism

by Susan Finch

Dec 6, 2019

© Oleksii Ignatiev | Dreamstime

Trends / Top Trends

Space tourism grew out of fantasies and unfilled promises that seemed out of reach until nearly two decades ago. In 2001, American businessman Dennis Tito spent $20 million for almost eight days with the Russian spacecraft that orbited Earth 128 times. Other million-dollar space rides followed with wealthy space tourists over the years. But will space tourism ever become more accessible, or will it always remain a bucket list adventure for the elite?

More companies look to develop space technology to reduce costs, including SpaceX and its infamous Tesla launch with a reusable rocket. The SpaceX team is also discussing offering paid trips to the moon by 2023. Richard Branson already pre-sold nearly 600 tickets for a future Virgin Galactic flight running $250,000 a seat. Virgin’s six-figure launches may still feel out of reach for many, yet 700 people clamored to snag one of the exclusive space tourism tickets.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is also testing reusable rockets with hopes to launch humans into space within the next few years. Both Blue Origin and Virgin’s launches are designed for a small group of tourists free to float around the rocket capsule before returning to Earth. Whether mainstream space tourists take flight in the next few years or the dream continues to face delays, companies are taking the race to be the first to get us there more seriously.

We’re already waiting for those first Instagram shots from the pioneers in space tourism.

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