Technology

7 February 2022

Is it possible to make a touristic trip outside the world, to go on a vacation? I’m sure many of us have wondered what it’s like to go into space as we watch movies about space travel and read science fiction books about space. As crazy as it sounds, even the thought of being able to look at our world from the outside is quite exciting. With the rapid development of technology, space tourism, which was once a dream, is becoming a term that we hear more closely and a subject that people frequently research and become interested in. The craze for space tourism, which first started with the US engineer Dennis Tito, who paid 20 million dollars for a Russian rocket in 2001 and stayed on the International Space Station for eight days, although it has started to become popular since the early 2000s, last year has been a revolutionary year in which developments took place for space tourism. 

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Space X, the space company of US billionaire Elon Musk, gave four passengers a space tourism experience with the spacecraft named “Crew Dragon” last year. Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Amazon company, which Musk constantly competes with in the wealth lists, did not stay behind this race and made a total of 10 people experience space travel during the travels organized by the aerospace company Blue Origin he founded. Among these people was the American actor William Shatner, who is also a space lover. Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezava and his assistant Yozo Hirano made a 12-day trip to the ISS with the spacecraft of the Russian company Roskosmos in December. As there are developments in the growing competition in the space tourism market, both the interest and demand for space tourism and space tourism have started to become a term we hear more and more in our lives. 

What about developments in space tourism in 2022?

Stating that the demand is high, Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin aims to continue its space travels this year. The US space company Axicom Space has also officially announced that it plans touristic trips to the ISS in 2022 in cooperation with the American Space and Aviation Administration (NASA). Space tourism is undoubtedly one of the biggest goals of NASA in 2022, which plans to send people to settle on Mars in 2030. NASA, which dreams of organizing a trip to the Moon and then to Mars as part of space tourism, is preparing to take the first step towards this. Together with Axicom Space, NASA has set a date for space tourism to be held at the International Space Station (ISS). According to the statement, SpaceX’s tested and approved Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will be used and launched on February 28, 2022, as the exact date.

The names that will participate in the mission to the ISS, which is 400 kilometers away from Earth, sacrificed exactly 55 million dollars for this. When this is the case, of course, the accessibility of space travel is still seen as a dream, but in the near future, factors such as the increase in competition of companies, the rapid development of technology, the increase in investment in space tourism are predicted to increase the accessibility of space tourism. In addition, companies are working hard to reduce the cost of space tourism. The most immense contribution of Elon Musk and other private entrepreneurs in the history of space, in particular, was to make disposable spacecraft reusable. This resulted in significant reductions in budgets.

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There are also criticisms of space tourism. Some think that space tourism is an activity organized for the wealthy, which does not involve any scientific or human-beneficial research, and does not consider the climate. So much so that Prince William of the UK was among those who showed these reactions. Prince William said: “Entrepreneurs should be concerned with saving our planet before space tourism. It should not be in an effort to escape and establish a new place to live.” Besides, some astronauts complain that after a few minutes of space travel, everyone sees them as “astronauts.” In addition to the criticisms, it’s clear that space tourism will be a massive market in the future. So much so that even within a year, significant developments occurred. We look forward to what awaits us in 2022 and in the future. Who knows, maybe one day we will see blog lists like “10 best places to visit in space.”