Tours To Space Could Take Place As Early As 2021, But Will Cost You $55M
Regardless of the calendar year, space has continued to be a source of great fascination. For our parents, it was a symbol of human potential – something that was once considered elusive and never to be reached, only to see the Apollo 11 Moon landing broadcast on black-and-white TV screens around the world.
The words of Neil Armstrong are now representative of an iconic moment in human history, but even then our curiosity with outer space has refused to dwindle. Instead, advances in science and technology have given rise to more ambitious plans and when such endeavours are backed by hefty sums of money, it becomes something of a competition to see who can achieve it first. The space race has seen a host of privately-owned companies and entrepreneurs throw their hat into the ring, and now the world is bracing for a future where commercial and tourist opportunities in space could be a reality.
One such leader in the race is that of Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Having established itself as a true pioneer of re-usable propulsion technology, SpaceX is hoping to be the first company to put a human on Mars. They’ve announced plans to do so, along with plans to blast at least one tourist to the Moon and commence commercial flights. But as exciting as this all sounds, don’t get too excited. If the idea of First Class travel prices scares you, a seat on the SpaceX rocket might just set you back $84 million.
According to the New York Times, the Space Adventures trip could happen in late 2021 or early 2022 after Axiom Space made a deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX. In an interview with the publication, Eric C. Anderson, chairman of Space Adventures, said: “It’ll be probably right around the 60th anniversary of the John Glenn’s flight,” referring to the first American to circle Earth on February 20, 1962.
And although Anderson didn’t provide an exact price of the journey to the publication, it’s estimated that a seat on the 10-day journey to space could set you back as much as $55 million USD.
On the flight to space will be a company-trained astronaut, serving as the flight commander. The other three seats however, will be open to customers willing to spend 10 days in orbit floating inside the space station and more importantly, those willing to fork out the exorbitant sum required to do so. As the New York Times reports, “The Axiom astronaut would also oversee the space tourists while they were on the station, making sure that they did not interfere with the six crew members.”
Regardless of the hefty price though, that hasn’t stopped one tourist from signing up already. The 10-day trip will include two days spent travelling to and from the space station, with another eight spent on board. In a statement, Axiom boss Michael T. Suffredini said: “This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space – a first for a commercial entity. Procuring the transportation marks significant progress toward that goal, and we’re glad to be working with SpaceX in this effort.”