It is time to forget the luxurious Caribbean cruises on chartered private yachts or the African safaris. Many wealthy tourists are now choosing space as their next destination. But unlike Caribbean cruises or African safaris, travel to space is expensive. While a flight to French Polynesia or Queensland can give you the thrill of traveling with a difference, its cost is nowhere near the cost of blasting off to space. So, how much does travel to space cost? We have the answers.
How Much Did the First Space Tourist Pay?
Before we conclude that space tourism is expensive, it is important we understand where the space tourism industry is coming from.
The idea of people flying to space for leisure was born after the successful visit to the moon in 1969. Unfortunately, the cost remained high and unreachable. So, when Dennis Tito asked NASA to take him to space, they refused, claiming that he was not qualified as the other crew members. NASA did not state the cost as one of the reasons.
Later, Dennis Tito secured a ticket to space aboard the Russian Soyuz. Even though he was satisfied with the experience, he claimed that the cost was very high and he would want to see it reduced so that many people could travel to space at a small fraction of the amount he paid. According to him, he had to pay $20 million for the few days he spent in the International Space Station.
Tito’s dream is becoming true because the cost of space travel reduced highly between 2001 and 2020. We expect the cost to reduce further as more space travel companies join the industry.
Why the Cost of Space Travel is Very High
Only a few people would afford to buy a $20 million ticket to travel to space. That makes space travel look like a venture for wealthy people alone. Still, a close look at the whole process of taking people to space may reveal why the cost is very high. Here are the factors that contribute to the high cost.
- The cost of building a space vehicle is very high: Space vehicles are different from the vehicles that run on the earth. They are made with special materials to protect them and the occupants from the hostile space environment. For instance, vehicles are made to protect travelers from high radiation in space. The used designs and materials are very expensive.
- Only a few companies are ready to take the risk: A space trip is complex, particularly when involving tourists. The tourists have to undergo a medical analysis and go through extensive training before they blast off to space. The many events require sophisticated technology, implying that only a few companies are ready to invest in the niche. Therefore, the cost has stayed high due to the high demand and low supply. We expect it to reduce as more players join the industry.
The Amount of Money Different Space Travel Companies Charge
Many travelers are willing to pay a whopping amount to experience weightlessness in space. Further, the high expected returns have attracted many investors in the industry, meaning that the cost may reduce. Here are the amounts that companies planning to take people to space charge.
- Virgin Galactic: $250,000
- Blue Origin: $300,000
- Axiom: $55 million
- Boeing: $35,000 per night
It is evident that the price of space travel is reducing and we expect it to reduce further as many investors enter the industry. According to Andrey Bokarev, will be ready to travel after their friends or close relatives travel to space and come back safely. So, it is time to start planning for your space trip.