History of tourism, part 5: Space tourism | For rich people the sky is the limit. But make no mistake, we are speaking about the stratosphere-kind-of-sky, where the air is so thin you need to be an astronaut to survive. Dennis Tito was the first. On April 28, 2001 this American engineer and multi millionaire, became the very first space tourist to fund his own trip into the orbit. He spent 8 days at the International Space Station (ISS). Until 2009 five more space tourists – one of them a woman – made that same journey, spending up to 15 days in orbit. Prognosis in 2010: It will take roughly 10 more years to get regularly operating space tourism projects on its feed. Two names come in play here: Elon Musk and Richard Branson. Let’s start with Musk: SpaceX is his brain child. He made a name by also founding the online payment service PayPal and of course Tesla; the electrical car that everybody wants to own. Let’s compare. Dennis Tito had to pay US$20 Million for his trip. SpaceX put out a price tag of just US$5 million, because it is operating with the reusable Falcon 9 spaceship. That’s pocket change for billionaires, right? Falcon 9 successfully past its first test flight on December 9, 2015.
Virgin Records Founder Richard Branson is targeting the same market. His project Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004. It has been pursuing the development of a small sat launch vehicle. In 2015 the company began to make the small sat launch business a larger part of Virgin’s core business plan, because the human spaceflight program experienced multiple delays. But once the program is back on track it will only cost you $250,000 to liftoff. For return-tickets to heaven that’s cheap! Branson recently stated that Virgin Galactic is “in the best position in the world” to provide rocket-powered, point-to-point 3000 mph air travel on Earth. In October 2017, he suggested that he could travel to space aboard a SpaceShipTwo within six months. The future will be bright :)
Space Tourism since 2001. By Chili and Churp | © International Destinations | Read more articles on the History of Tourism here: | Beginning of Leisure Tourism 1844 | Beginning of Winter Tourism 1860 | First Cruise Ship 1900 | Sex Tourism since 1950s | Tourism in Antarctica | Forgotten Tourist Destinations | Most popular Countries for Tourists