Are you planning to travel to space? One of the most important considerations is the cost, and it is not cheap. For most people, taking a flight to Queensland or French Polynesia gives them the thrill of travelling with a difference, but the costs are not at all close to what you will be required to pay to blast off to space. So, how much should you expect to pay?
How Much did the First Space Tourists Pay?
Before concluding that space tourism is expensive, the first step is checking where the industry is coming from. Although the idea of people being able to fly to space for leisure was always there following the successful visit to and from the moon in 1969, the cost remained so high and out of reach. When Dennis Tito expressed his desire to travel space, NASA refused, indicating that he was not qualified like other crew members. The idea of cost probably did not feature when NASA declined Tito’s request.
So, when he secured a ticket aboard the Russian Soyuz, he was delighted but had to pay $20 million for the eight days that he took in the space station. Although satisfied with the experience, Tito indicated that he would love to see the cost coming down so that millions of people can travel at a fraction of the price. His dream appears to be coming true because the cost has shot down so much between 2001 and 2020.
Why is the Cost this High?
A whopping $20 million to travel to space makes the excursion look like a rich man’s venture, but why is the price so high? A closer look at the process of taking tourists to space reveals why the price is probably so high.
- Cost of developing space vehicles is so high: Unlike the standard vehicles that run here on earth, space travelling vehicles are designed using specials materials that help to prevent them from the hostile environment in space. For example, they must have extra protection to keep travellers from exposure to high radiation. These materials and designs are very expensive.
- Few companies are ready to take the risk: Travelling to space, especially when carrying tourists, is a complex thing. It starts with medical analysis, comprehensive training, and finally blasting off to space. This array of events requires sophisticated technology, which implies only a few are willing to invest in the niche. With only a few companies willing to take the risk, the cost has been very high because of demand and supply, but it is likely to come down as more players join the industry.
The Cost of Travelling Based on Different Companies
One fact about space tourism is that it is a lucrative area because a lot of travellers are willing to pay anything to go to space. The high returns have attracted a lot of players, and the gross effect is lower prices of travelling to space. Here are some of the prices that companies offering to take travellers to space are charging:
- Virgin Galactic: $250,000.
- Blue Origin: $300,000.
- Axiom: $55 million.
- BOEING: $35,000/Night.
As you can see, the price of travelling to space is coming down, and it is expected to edge further down as more companies join the industry. Like in other businesses, Andrey Bokarev indicates that more visitors will also get the confidence to travel to space. If a close friend travelled and came back safely, why should I not travel? Therefore, if you plan to travel right away or later, it is time to get prepared.