Imagine visiting Expedia.com and not booking a ticket Hawaii or Barcelona but traveling to space. It may sound like science fiction but in a few years it could be a reality. Up until now the proposition of space travel has only been received for the ultra, ultra rich.
There is currently a race to be the first company to offer affordable space travel to the average consumer. With champions of industry Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Paul Allen funding space travel startups it shouldn’t be long before we can casually book a flight in orbital and suborbital space.
Perhaps the most well known company pushing for space travel is Virgin Galactic, helmed by eccentric billionaire Richard Branson. The company is currently building a copy of their Space Ship Two (SS2), which infamously crashed in the Mojave Desert last year, killing one crew member and injuring another. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the fatal crash was caused by pilot error and not faulty machinery.
Another big player in the space tourism game is Elon Musk’s Space X company. Space X made headlines recently with the successful launch of a satellite with the purpose of mapping the Earth’s oceans. Aside from a faulty landing, the rocket used to place the satellite in space, the Falcon 9, was successful in its task.
The third company to look out for in the space (pun intended) in XCor Aerospace which is based in Mojave. The company has steadily been working on the Lynx two-seat rocket plane which can take off directly from an airport runway and reach a staggering altitude of 200,000 feet. Each flight will be manned by a pilot and carry a $100,000 price tag. XCor hopes to being hosting two of these flights daily.
Now $100,000 may sound like a lot of money, but at this rate we could see space travel cost as little as $10,000 a flight in the next decade. Perhaps the most salient thing about this new industry is that it is not only creating new and exciting ways to travel but it is also expanding the world’s understanding and acceptance of space.
Keep your eyes peeled! Your children could be easily celebrating their honeymoon in space!