Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos – Who Took the First Step Towards Space Tourism?

By Nikita

Even while witnessing the most magnificent vistas on the planet, it is becoming increasingly impossible to experience wonder in today’s society. Disconnecting from the internet and connecting with the world around us has become more difficult thanks to technological advancements. Simultaneously, technological advancements are allowing regular people to dream of journeying to the stars. Space tourism is a genuine prospect that will most certainly materialize in the next few years — and become widespread in the coming decade.

While space travel is mainly a status symbol for the wealthy, this is not an exceptional pattern in tourism history. This kind of tourism leads to a hope of promotion of different sorts of adventures, helps the economy, and would help in creating awareness for the vulnerability of our planet. We can say this on the basis of the desire of people, which leads them to push their limits and makes them go in the persuasion of finding new locations along with new experiences. The way an individual plans to travel can easily reflect these points. “Adventure tourism is one of the fastest-growing areas of the tourist market,” according to Leisure and Aging. It has grown in popularity to the point that roughly 100 million individuals have selected soft adventure vacations.” The natural next step for this rising trend is space travel.

Space tourism would impart a new way of enhancing the economy globally and provide another outlet for adrenaline seekers. According to research published by the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism produced 7.2 trillion dollars, which is also 9.8% of the global GDP, and created 284 million employment opportunities back in 2015, making one out of every eleven employed people be in this industry around the world.

There is reason to assume that commercial space flights will have a comparable economic impact. While there are still hazards, it is reasonable to anticipate that space tourism has a long way to go before it becomes a viable option for the middle class.

The phrase “space tourism” has evolved to refer to the practice of regular people purchasing tickets to travel to and from space. This concept appeals to a large number of people. However, a significant body of professional study has been done on the issue in recent years, and it is now obvious that establishing commercial space tourism services is a viable economic goal today.

Space tourism has already begun as a revolutionary process, with the first civilian astronaut paying for a journey to space and back. When Mr Denis Tito travelled to space as a fare-paying visitor in 2001, he became the first private space traveller. Despite the fact that the flight was in a government vehicle, his involvement was privately sponsored. Further progress in space tourism is highly dependent on a variety of technological challenges, such as reusable technology and other related advancements, which are essential for tourism in space.

Space flights, such as Dennis Tito’s, are costly for a reason. To fly high and fast enough to enter Earth’s orbit, a rocket must consume a lot of expensive fuel. A suborbital launch, in which the rocket travels high enough to approach the edge of space and then returns to Earth, is another less expensive option. These launches are more accessible than suborbital flights, which provide guests with weightlessness and spectacular views.

Due to the complexity and cost of these options, only nation-states have been able to explore space in the past. As a series of entrepreneurs joined the space arena in the 1990s, this began to alter. Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX, all led by wealthy CEOs, have emerged as key participants. Despite the fact that none have yet taken paying private clients to space, all of them are expected to do so in the not-too-distant future.

Between Sir Richard Branson, founder of “Virgin Group” and Amazon’s former CEO Jeff Bezos, the productive race of bringing people to explore space has started to heat up. In his “Virgin Galactic VSS Unity” spaceplane, Branson soared 80 kilometres to reach the edge of space on July 11th. On July 20th, Bezos’ self-driving Blue Origin rocket took off.

Despite losing against Branson, Bezos ascended to greater heights with a height of about 106 km. The launch highlighted Blue Origin’s offer to affluent tourists with the chance of travelling to the edge of space. Passengers on both trip packages will get a ten-minute romp in zero gravity as well as views of Earth from orbit. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, not to be outdone, will provide four to five days of orbital travel with its “Crew Dragon spacecraft.”

However, worldwide rocket launches would only need to rise by a small amount from the present 100 or so per year to have detrimental impacts comparable to ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons and carbon dioxide from aeroplanes.

Space tourism is only a sideshow to the more important and worthwhile objective of environmental preservation. Blue Origin aims to test its reusable New Glenn rocket next year, which will be capable of carrying goods and humans into space. The rocket is named after John Glenn, the first American to circle the Earth in 1962. Bezos has stated that he believes we need to go to space to rescue the Earth, especially by transferring heavy industries into space to safeguard the Earth from pollution. That will only be possible if space travel is safe, predictable, and inexpensive. Just as mass tourism has decreased the cost of flying, space tourism will aid in the development of a viable space economy.

Branson’s goal is to expand access to space similarly. After his first trip, he stated, “Our aim is to make space more accessible to everyone.” The first flight, on July 11th, included a microgravity experiment, with identical intentions for all following flights.

Analysis:

As we proceed over time, the only constant thing is change. A major change that the world is observing daily is advancements in the field of technology. The advancement of technology has been to the extent that now even tourism in space is not considered an impossible scenario. Tourism is a term that is related to travel. One who travels to someplace from their origin point is known as a tourist. Tourism is done for many different purposes, as one can travel for leisure, for business, and for attending functions. Everyone has a different motto behind travel, but it is certainly an essential part of life. Owing to tourism within different cities, states, countries, and continents, travelling is now not as difficult or as expensive as it used to be many years ago. Instead, international or inter-country travel is now the most popular type of tourism. This sudden change in the market of tourism has been possible as people now have well-to-do income, and the cost of travel has also declined over the years.

People might correlate the appeal of international travel, which was accessible only to the rich a few years ago, to that of space travel today. Space tourism might not be something new, but it has irrefutably come into the limelight after a long time. We know that Dennis Tito was the first traveller who properly paid a fare for his space flight back in 2001, but due to fewer resources and information, people were not that amused. Hence, space tourism was like a myth. But now, when we have advanced telescopes and rockets that can help take civilians into space, people not only believe in travelling to space but they also believe that in the future, we will have colonies built on different planets. The topic of space tourism came into the mainstream discussion when Elon Musk planned to launch rockets in space that would be reused after every flight, which will make the cost of space travel decline further down but, just as Musk was trying Starlink, one of the top 10 richest people of Britain, Richard Branson, took the first step to make civilian astronauts and make a short trip to space. People were amazed by what Branson has done, but to provide another boost to space tourism, Jeff Bezos, the richest man of the world, took a leap and went into space as a tourist for a short trip. Hence, these three gentlemen are the real reason why space tourism has become a hot topic for today’s generation, specifically, the debate of whether Branson is the first civilian astronaut to make a trip into space or not. Although the price of one person to travel to space is still pretty expensive, there is undoubtedly not much time left for when we will be able to do planet-hopping.

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