Would You Venture Into Space? Posted In:
NASA Articles 5/31/11
By: Chris Capps
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a shocking question that ten years ago could only be asked to billionaires with connections to the Russian Space Program. But as space tourism grows as an industry and the next generation of space planes and rockets designed to propel tourists into space, the question is finally one that is being tabled to a larger group of adventurers intent on enjoying those first few moments of weightlessness among the stars. And projections for the future suggest the future of space tourism may one day within our lifetimes affordable for anyone for approximately the same price as a plane ticket around the world. But as more people venture into space, will humanity rekindle its interest in traveling to other planets?
It may not be a giant leap, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one that everyone may be able to share in the near future. Space travel is a hot item in future projections of travel. Who wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think it was romantic to quite literally get away from it all and leave the entire planet behind in a weightless environment miles above the planetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s surface? And in time with the development of more efficient rockets the price tag may within our lifetimes be attainable by anyone.
And if it still seems like space travel would be impossible to reach for the average individual, consider the possibilities for private companies. As medical researchers and those wishing to conduct experiments in preservation take their experiments alongside private industry into their own rooms designed to study the effects of weightlessness on a given bacteria or pharmaceutical drug, the price may be more attainable than ever before with company funded research expeditions and private companies set up by individuals designed to experiment in space with the assistance of funding from clients.
Of course the first generation of space flights may not be anywhere near the 2001 Space Odyssey picture of the future. A mere minute and a half in orbit may be all you get at first before the ship is bodily dragged by the EarthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gravity back to the planetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s surface - and a good deal of that time would be the innitial shock and getting your seatbelt back on. It would be hardly the investment designed with the purpose of making memories. This first generation of space flight would more appeal to individuals interested in being among the first humans to have left the Earth and entered into orbit - if even for a few seconds.
But what would come next? As the technology improved still further orbital hotels could be deployed and remain in geosynchronous orbit around the planet accommodating space travelers hoping for a longer stay of a few days. Already the stage has been set by space explorers such as Dennis Tito in 2001 who orbited the Earth 128 times over the course of nine days. The trip cost Tito over $20 million in 2001. And while the future of space travel may not be quite as glamorous as looking down on Earth over the course of nine days, it will be an indicator of just how seriously the human race still takes space travel.