Space Tourism May Be Our Ticket to Become a Full-Fledged Spacefaring Civilization

By  //  September 19, 2021

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Space is starting to feel a lot closer than ever. Thanks to the strides taken by the private space industry, it looks like our common dream of reaching the final frontier is now very attainable within our lifetimes.

The advancements are such that the global space industry is expected to grow to as much as $1 trillion in size, according to Morgan Stanley. A bright future is in store for the future of space travel, and it all starts with space tourism, a new industry forged from the experiments of eccentric billionaires.

Between the achievements of the private space industry and the continued growth of the space force and other such entities, it would seem that mankind’s destiny as a spacefaring civilization would be fulfilled sooner rather than later.

The market has begun to move into the final frontier

For the longest time, outer space has been a major subject of fascination in the global zeitgeist. But it was ultimately out of reach for even powerful entities such as corporations and multi-billionaires, much less the common individual. To the vast majority of mankind, everything past airliner altitude was off-limits. 

Until recently, that is. A brand new space race rises upon the groundwork laid by the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, this time centered around the goal of elevating the world market to unprecedented heights.

The only place capable of containing such an immense undertaking is the vast expanse of space, and given the exploits of private spacefaring companies, it would seem that it is ripe for the conquering. What was once only a home for satellites, debris, and a handful of astronauts is fast becoming the next global hub of commerce.

Space tourism is likely the first step towards total conquest of local space

The remarkable feats accomplished by private space companies within the past few years suggest that space travel is going to become a lot more common in the near future.

While the foundations for space-based industry have yet to be formed, space tourism stands to become a very strong market in the coming years. With more players such as Virgin Galactic coming to the fore, we can expect competition to drive space travel tech even further. 

Sure enough, SpaceX raised an answer to the exploits of Bezos and Branson by sending four civilian tourists up into orbit on September 16, 2021. This 90-minute spaceflight was the first one ever to be staffed entirely by non-astronauts, and judging by its success, it would not be the last.

The battle between the world’s private space industry giants has been going on for a while, but now the pace is truly starting to pick up. The optimism generated by this buzz of activity is such that experts are even forecasting family holidays to the moon and back by the year 2030. 

Planned projects for the near future

There is much talk of the possibilities that these exciting new developments can bring to the table, from lunar agriculture to large-scale zero-g manufacturing. But for now, while they are a lot more possible, they are very much still conceptual. What we can look forward to however, are projects with tangible plans firmly in place and currently being executed. 

One such plan is the dearMoon project, dreamt up by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to collect photography and artwork of the moon to promote world peace. This trip has been in the works since 2017, but was set back due to rehashing of the plans to ensure a safe, efficient trip.

It will make use of SpaceX’s new Starship spacecraft, which only entered development this year. SpaceX announced that the launch will occur in 2023 at the earliest, but this will ultimately hinge on the development of Starship.

On the other hand, Virgin Galactic has been hard at work collecting funding for its growing space fleet and spaceport construction plans. The company intends to launch upwards of 400 flights a year per space port once construction is complete, and offer private space flights costing $250,000 per person.

Meanwhile, megastructure company Orbital Assembly Corp. is looking to partner with these space industry giants to ferry passengers to Voyager Station, which is going to be the world’s first space hotel, slated to open its doors in 2027.

This new space age we find ourselves in will undoubtedly be beset with as many difficulties as the one in the 20th century, if not more. But just like back then, we will keep moving forward, until the dream of space travel becomes a reality for all of mankind.