Space tourism has come far away from the inaugural commercial space travel by Dennis Tito in a Russian spacecraft in 2001 as a boon to the suborbital space travels by Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos through their respective private-funded aerospace companies in 2021.
Still, the road ahead is way more complicated.
Space Tourism – A potential industry in the making
Space tourism is travelling to space for recreational purposes.
Space tourism launched in 2001 when U.S. millionaire Dennis Tito paid roughly $ 20 million to experience a ride to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
The evolution of private aerospace companies such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Blue Origin pave the way towards establishing Space tourism as a subsidiary branch of the tourism industry.
Space tourism is highly money-demanding and is currently a status symbol for elite billionaires of the world.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic offered 2.5 hours of extraordinary experience with 6 minutes of weightlessness.
This is an unusual trend in the history of tourism which has never been experienced before.
According to a World Travel and Tourism Council report, one out of every 11 jobs were provided by the tourism industry in 2015.
There are significant chances that the emerging space tourism industry can substantially positively impact the world economy.
The Adventure awaits the world.
Though space tourism is expected to boost the world economy, it is only a tiny portion of a potentially adventurous tale.
Through space tourism, people can connect personally with the meticulous beauty of this farsighted universe with lots of unseen and unsolved mysteries.
As the costs to travel to space will reduce in the coming days, space tourism will be available to more and more people.
They will be able to experience a new dimension of beauty with a personal connection. Likewise, it will also increase our admiration for our home planet.
Space travellers will experience the realization of how rare and valuable is our world, and they voluntarily take more sound steps towards protecting it.
Threats to our environment
Space tourism may be a potential milestone in the history of tourism, it may sound highly adventurous and lucrative, but it also poses some serious threats to our home, our earth.
The impact of space tourism puts all the living beings on the planet at risk.
The soot or black carbon from the emissions of the spacecraft may linger with the stratosphere for years, which can cause an exponential increase in the rate of climate change.
Currently, space tourism is the most unsustainable form of tourism, which can destroy the natural environment of the globe.
However, there are strong possibilities that these issues can be addressed with the emergence of energy technology innovations, leading to an overall reduction in carbon footprints.
The promise of improvement can be seen as the Blue Origin’s spacecraft The New Shepard uses a highly reusable liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen engine (BE3).
This BE3 engine will directly see usage in many other vehicles and crafts.
With current resources, travelling to space means keeping the whole planet at risk. The environmental threats are severe and cannot be ignored.
But there are strong chances that emerging green fuel alternatives and innovations in energy technology can positively impact the circumstances.
Filled with huge adventures and incredible sights, travelling to space is a glorious opportunity no one will ever be willing to miss out on.
Also, considering its potential economic contributions, it can be a boon to the human race if the environmental threats are addressed with sound scientific research and an innovative mindset.