September 28, 2021

How Expensive is Space Tourism? 

Many people have been dreaming about traveling to space for many years. Billionaires like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos have poured a lot of money into developing space vehicles for space tourism and one of their companies might be the first to ferry passengers into space. 

Still, the companies plan for trips into the suborbital space, which means that the space vehicles will cross the 62 miles line considered the boundary of space. The fliers will enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness before traveling back to the earth. 

If you are planning for a space journey, one of the important considerations is the cost, which is very high. For most individuals, a trip to French Polynesia or Queensland provides the thrill of traveling with a difference. However, the cost of this trip is not close to what you have to pay for space travel. So, how much do space tourism companies charge? 

The Amount of Money the First Space Tourists Paid 

It is evident that space tourism is expensive. However, when deciding on whether to travel to space or not, you have to consider other factors. One of the things to consider is the history of space tourism. While many people started dreaming of their travel to space after the successful flight to the moon in 1963, the cost has been out of reach.  

In fact, NASA was not ready to take Dennis Tito to space when he expressed his desire to do that. They claimed that Tito was unqualified for space trips and the idea of cost did not feature in their decision. 

Dennis Tito was delighted when he secured a ticket to space aboard the Russian Soyuz. Unfortunately, he had to pay over $20 million for the trip. The amount was very high considering that he only spent 8 days in the space station. While Tito was satisfied with the experience, he indicated that the cost was very high and would want to see it come down so that many people could travel at a fraction of the amount he spent. His dream is coming true because the cost reduced highly between 2001 and 2020. 

But why is the Cost of Space Travel Very High?  

The amount Dennis Tito spent to travel to space made the pleasure trip look like a venture for the rich men alone. But why is the amount very high? To help you understand the reasons behind the high cost, let us look at the costs associated with the processes. 

  • The cost of developing a space vehicle is very high 

Unlike the cars made to run on earth, space vehicles are made with special materials that protect them from the harsh space environment. A quick example, the vehicles must protect travelers from high radiations expected in space. The materials and the designs are very expensive. 

  • Space vehicles use expensive fuel 

Another thing that makes space tourism expensive is the reason that space vehicles burn a lot of expensive fuel to travel fast and high enough to get into the Earth’s orbit. According to SpaceX, a Falcon 9 rocket burns over $200,000 per launch. 

  • Only a few space travel companies are ready to take the high risk 

Space travel is complex, particularly when tourists are involved. The process starts with comprehensive training, medical analysis, and finally the launch to space. The many events require sophisticated technology, implying that only a few companies are ready to invest in this niche.

 As the law of demand and supply states, the cost is high when the demand is high and the supply is low. However, the price may reduce as more players enter this industry. 

The Amount of Money Different Companies Charge 

Space tourism is a lucrative area because many travelers are ready to pay any amount of money to experience weightlessness in space. The high expected returns have also attracted many players. As a result, the cost is reducing. Here is the amount some of the leading space travel companies are charging: 

  • Virgin Galactic: $250,000
  • Blue Origin: $300,000
  • Axiom: $55 million 
  • BOEING: $35,000 per night 

The price of traveling to space has been falling very fast and we expect to reduce further soon. According to Andrey Bokarev, more people will be ready to try space travel in the future. If your friend or relative came back safely from space, you would be ready to travel there too. 

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