A new space race, but is it worth it?

Trying to explore the vast beauties of Earth and the solar system? It’s $250,000 for a Virgin Galactic space tour ticket. Virgin Galactic is one of many companies attempting to bring space tourism to life. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Space tourism is one of the new industries that companies, like Virgin Galactic, are looking into. Virgin Galactic is the first company to open its doors to the public. The first Age of Exploration will look like a game of hide and seek compared to the “tours” of space. Virgin hopes to create, a “basic space access infrastructure.” The new Age “promises enormous positive potential for life on Earth.” 

The space tourism race isn’t about bragging rights however, like the moon race, it’s all about the money. As of right now, according to Tech Crunch, there are 600 people signed up to take a 90-minute flight on SpaceShipTwo. Although space tourism is a cool idea, Virgin plans on using this opportunity to learn, but how could we learn anything we don’t know already? We can’t learn anything from a small spaceship carrying civilians who want to look at space, rather than study it.The International Space Station (ISS) is consistently occupied by astronauts; NASA defines the ISS as an “orbiting research facility.” The Earth already has a facility determined to discovering the mysteries of the human body and space. 

Space tourism could bring more attention to the mysteries of space, however, and Virgin does hope to learn from the first “tour.” 

One thing that Virgin Galactic doesn’t talk about is health. Under Armor has been helping the first customers with training and proper nutrition for space — but no where on the official Virgin Galactic website does it talk about the health effects of space. 

SpaceX is another company that is attempting the space tourism route — and already has a ship that is presented as “service to earth orbit, the moon, mars, and beyond.” NASA and SpaceX signed a contract to create a separate ship, the Dragon, which will take private customers to the ISS for $52 million. 

There are still vast amounts of the ocean to explore — space can wait until we know exactly what is in the depths of the sea. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, hopes that humanity can be a multi-planet species, but we haven’t wholly explored our own planet. 

Space tourism could be worth it for radical entrepreneurs, or those obsessed with space, but others may want to save their money for other opportunities.


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