The whole space travel phenomenon has been around for some time, and many people have been curious when it’s going to become mainstream. With anything, it’s only a matter of time before something exclusive becomes mainstream, take the internet as an example. While we might be many years away from mainstream space travel for your average joe, if you’re the worthy owner many thousands to millions of dollars, you may be in luck. So, whether you’re a sci-fi fanatic, a tech buff, or just genuinely interested in space travel, then here is how much it is likely to cost you for a quick trip up to space.
For now, commercial space flights are only sub-orbital, meaning you don’t exactly go exploring deep space. What it means is that you reach 100km above sea level, reaching what’s called the Karmen line, placed at this exact point. It’s one of the lowest points of space, from the earth, that there is. These flights will reach this point before rapidly coming down and rejoining earth.
Who provides this experience?
Obviously, this isn’t an excursion you can get from any local travel agent or even an abundance of them. This is exclusive, although you can get it from more than one provider. There are three mainstream ones currently, there is ‘Virgin,’ ‘Blue Origin’ and ‘Space X,’ arguably with Virgin being the most famous one with Richard Branston heading the mission, although ‘Space X’ is Elon Musk’s pet project. So there are a few to choose from. What’s the difference, and how much will it cost?
They offer different experiences
Each one has their own version of space travel, and they significantly differ. Space X is looking to make space travel available to wealthy people, and his first flight isn’t scheduled until 2023, according to one source. That is an exclusive tour for Yusaku Maezawa and any guest he chooses to bring. So, while Space X may be in the running for mainstream space travel, it certainly won’t be any time soon. So, what about the others?
Blue Origin is more like a space rocket than a shuttle, where passengers will bundle into a capsule which will take off from a 60ft rocket. Sounds crazy? Well, it is. This craft will reportedly be able to hold four paying passengers, and two spacecraft pilots. The whole experience is based around observing the earth from space, and so passengers will have luxurious recliners, and small windows to look out of. Passengers will have had to undertake a whole day of training before the brief space expedition. Once the capsule has been launched, it will hover in sub-orbital space for three minutes, before coming back down, relying on a parachute to land safely. The entire experience has been estimated to be around 11 minutes long with an estimated cost of between $200,000 and £300,000.
That’s right, not Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Galactic, how cool is that? Virgin do take their space travel very seriously, and this is no quick fix. It will require days of rigorous training, medical checks, G-force simulations, and safety training. They will need to put a $20,000 deposit on their space and arrive three days prior. The craft will be able to carry six passengers, and the experience will last a whole 2.5 hours; much more for your money. They are estimated to cost $250,000.
So, if you have an extra quarter-million dollars, then hop right to it! Space tourism isn’t quite there yet and has had a few hiccups along the way, but no doubt it’ll be here very soon.