A Deeper Look into Space Tourism and Associated Costs

A Deeper Look into Space Tourism and Associated Costs

Do you want to travel to space? Many people consider it a dream and experience they would want to get, at least once in their lives. The main challenge is that the cost is pretty prohibitive and has at times won space travelling a "rich man's only undertaking." However, this is about to change as more players, from Jeff Bezos to Richard Branson, put their best feet forward to make space travelling a reality for more people. They have directed the bulk of their efforts into crafting special vehicles for space travel.

The growing interest and involvement of private companies implies that it is only a matter of time before space travelling becomes a common leisure activity. The main difference between traditional and space tourism is that the latter is riskier, more expensive, and requires a lot of preparation. It is because of these complexities that those companies willing to take risks charge a lot of money.

The Cost of Space Travel: What Did the First Tourist Pay?

Although it offers an unforgettable experience, space travelling is very expensive and out of reach for many people. Let’s get back to the beginning for a better perspective.

After Apollo 11 successfully landed humans on the moon under the leadership of Neil Armstrong in 1979, the idea of more people travelling to space became a common subject. However, it appeared far-fetched because only the best scientists got the opportunity. Well, space travelling became a reality when the first tourist, Dennis Tito, made the first trip in 2001.

Dennis travelled to space using the Russian Soyuz after paying USD 20 million. Many people, including Dennis himself, feel that this cost is too much. Although he enjoyed every moment, Dennis was of the idea that the cost should be pushed down to allow more people to travel there and enjoy the experience. Now, the cost is coming down fast. 

Space Tourism: What Makes it So Expensive?

The amount that Dennis Tito paid was rather high, and although it is more than 20 years ago, few would afford it even now. So, why is the price so high? Here are some of the reasons.

  • Research and development of space travel vehicles is very expensive.
  • The cost of fuel for powering space vehicles is very expensive. For example, every Falcon 9 rocket launch uses about US$ 200,000 in fuel only. When all the costs are put together, SpaceX uses US$ 62 million for every launch.
  • The risks involved in space travelling, especially for civilians, are so high.

 Space Tourism: Costs by Different Companies 

The cost of space travel is coming down pretty fast. Now, space travel companies are only charging a fraction of what the first tourist paid. So, here are charges by the top companies: 

  • Virgin Galactic: US$ 250,000. 
  • Blue Origin: US$ 300,000.
  • BOEING: US$ 35,000/night. 

As the price of space travelling keeps coming down, Andrey Bokarev argues that it is only a matter of time before it becomes the ultimate choice for more people. So, if you have ever wanted to travel to space, the time to start preparing is now. 

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