When you were little, you may have been told to make a wish upon a star lightyears away and one day your dreams will come true. Now with advanced technology, you may not have to wish from your bedroom window much longer.
Private space travel, or space tourism, has sat fancily in the minds of many individuals who want to travel into space as well as many businesses who can’t wait to offer it. However, traveling to space is extremely expensive. NASA will spend an average of $500 million on each of its next launches. Consequently, space travel for citizens has been reserved for the top classes of the world to help expense the cost of the trip. But that won’t last forever.
“Things are expensive at first, and as you’re able to increase the launch rate, increase the production rate, refine the technology, it becomes less expensive and accessible to more people,” Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, told NBC News.
Like any new consumer opportunity, prices will be higher in the beginning. Then, as interest and production increase, the cost of the product will decrease, making it more available to an average citizen.
“I don’t trust auto-pilot on a car, nonetheless would I trust it on a spacecraft,” junior Teia Kornienko said. “There could be a malfunction in the aircraft, possibly causing the loss of lives.”
Advances in technology are allowing for safer, autopilot-style travel, which broadens the original scope of who is able to travel into space. With spaceflight almost in our grasp, how does one prepare for the journey?
Astronauts go through many intervals of intense space flight training. From mimicking the working environments outside of the spacecraft in a pool underwater to handling the pressure and speed of takeoff, astronauts are prepared for the rigorous journey of space travel.
One of the training tools is the multi-axis trainer, which is based on the MASTIFF (which was truly used) that spins on multiple axes to train for the worst possible situation in a spacecraft, loss of control. There are many other training methods that astronauts must go through to prepare for takeoff that won’t be listed in this article, but you can refer to the hyperlink above.
Although space travel seems like a dream, many people find themselves leaving it as a dream and preferring the safety and the health of the planet by staying on the ground.
“Science and astrophysics is an incredible field, and it’s great that people are stimulated to discover what’s in the universe, but there are so many internal issues on earth,” sophomore Amelie Pak said. “It doesn’t seem like an endeavor people can regularly participate in, also considering its environmental defects from launch like hurricanes and carbon emissions.”
Alas, everyone has their own balance of risks, and there will always be people who will take a ride to see the stars. So, all things considered…what would you do?