Space tourism becoming a reality
It was only a matter of time that space tourism became much more than science fiction and the sub plots of summer blockbusters. While the idea of space tourism had been conceived decades back yet the potential or viability of such a concept was not clearly established. With NASA’s last space shuttles retiring in the last few years, major corporations had a keen eye into the evolution of a new industry, the private space industry. It was noted by experts that unless private space companies get to cash in on the space missions that are launched by NASA from time to time and get into the shuttle service to transfer cargo and various loads to and from the international space stations, not much would evolve in space tourism.
SpaceX – the first private entity to offer space shuttle services
NASA announced in the year 2005 that it would welcome private space companies to offer shuttle services and various types of contracts would be available for open bidding for those who had the penchant and the technological leverage to cater to such services. Over the last few years, companies such as the SpaceX aka Space Exploration Technologies Corporation which is based out of Hawthorne in California has been vying for contracts.
On May 22, 2012, SpaceX became the first among the many aspiring private space companies to send a supply ship into the orbit. The launch of Dragon, which is an unmanned rocket, is especially significant since it is not only carrying 1000 pounds of provisions for the space station but it is also meant to dock with the space station and undergo strict orbital maneuvering, something that space tourism does not stringently demand. What this implies for space tourism is that if private space companies like SpaceX can live up to the strict requisites and modus operandi of NASA and international space stations, they can certainly be safe, capable and viable for space tourism.
SpaceX has created history and after the successful launch of Dragon, it can be safely concluded that the initiative of letting in private space companies and trying to create a private space industry is just not a figment of imagination or an unsustainable propaganda but a very viable and perhaps an ideal solution for the future. As had several politicians and administrators at NASA repeatedly pointed out that space tourism and even NASA’s very own space programs can become a healthier, economic and better affair if private space companies come into the fray which would have nothing to do with bureaucracy and other shortcomings that are unavoidable in a federal setup such as NASA.
Useful reference links
NASA.gov brings you images, videos and interactive features from the unique perspective of America’s space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, subscribe to blogs, RSS feeds and podcasts, watch NASA TV live, or simply read about our missi
- Private spaceflight – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Private Space Companies
The number of private space companies continues to grow. If you want to help, consider making a donation, volunteering your time, or hiring their services.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.