Fifty years after the moon landing, billionaires are currently backing several projects which could make space travel a viable option for those who intend to take a more unconventional vacation.
While Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon may have gone through an expensive divorce at the moment, he still remains the world’s richest man.
His wealth is sufficient for funding Blue Origin, an independent space company, currently building rockets equipped with passenger capsules that have 6 seats and ample-sized windows for viewing the Earth’s curvature. While anyone can book themselves a seat via the website, launch dates and prices are still unannounced. At the same time, Richard Branson from the UK has already sold 600 tickets, each costing around $250000. Branson’s Virgin Galactic launched its VSS Unity spacecraft into space, back in February.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX is also in the running but Musk is focusing more on cargo missions and not much on tourism efforts. However, Musk is open to the idea of sending people to space via his Crew Dragon ship. Citizens have gone to space before as well, via Soyuz spacecraft, owned by Russia. Dennis Tito shelled out over $20 million in 2001 for the opportunity to go to space and the ISS. UBS, the Switzerland-based bank, estimates space tourism to be an $800 billion industry before 2030.
UBS claimed that while zero-gravity experiences could be had for around $5000 via traditional planes, those who wish to vacation on the moon may have to shell out $150 million at least. Space tourism is also seen as a step towards reducing flight time between 2 spots located far away from each other on Earth. SpaceX stated in 2018 that it had plans for a service that could let one reach any place on Earth in an hour. The company’s COO stated that over 100 passengers could be carried via its BFR rocket, with relatively-affordable pricing as well.