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Commercial space travel starts a new era in human travel, opening doors for further research, larger markets, jobs, overall more dreams. What does it mean for science, the environment, and the common man?

Here is a glimpse into the future.

Priya’s eyes are wide as saucers as she sees the view. It’s the awe inspiring view of the Earth in all its totality, a breathtaking mass of blue, white, and green. She then sees Mohit floating towards her, diamond ring in hand. The stewardess captures the moment on her phone for her, which she Instagrams as soon as she gets to Earth.

Space tourism is now a reality for the people who can afford it, no matter the angle of criticism.

While we still await Web 3.0 to sweep us off our feet, space exploration definitely has added a decimal in its wake with British billionaire entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson, and American billionaire and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, successfully making suborbital space flights.

Space tourism is now a reality for the people who can afford it, no matter the angle of criticism.


Read more: A Technology Driven Employee Owned Aerospace Startup


Bezos’s spaceflight company Blue Origin already has two trips planned for later this year, while Branson’s Virgin Galactic, already has some 600 bookings worth about US$250,000 each for future tickets on its spaceplane.

Criticism has been pouring in, as is its wont, regarding commercial space travel being a useless show of wealth. Some of it, like the environmental factor is not unwonted.

While Indian Olympian wrestler Sakshi Malik worked at wrestling to be able to sit in an aeroplane one day, new dreams will now form for space travel

Still, the fact of the matter remains that space travel starts a brand new era in human travel, opening doors for further research, larger markets, jobs, overall, more dreams.

While Indian Olympian wrestler Sakshi Malik worked at wrestling to be able to sit in an aeroplane one day, new dreams will now form for space travel.

Future Space Travel Will Become Sleeker

Remember the time when going to space meant preparing all through life? Studying well, mental prowess, physical fitness, and a grueling career in the Air Force were a must for aspiring astronauts.

Now, those factors become redundant as 71-year-old Branson and 82-year-old Wally Funk float around in zero gravity. A week’s training and a wad of money might be the only factors standing in the way of an aspiring astronaut now.

A week’s training and a wad of money might be the only factors standing in the way of an aspiring astronaut now

What this means for the future is that a new sector of business and industry is bound to open up. Suddenly, there will be large amounts of funds available for space research, as more sophisticated ways of travelling enter the market. Read sleeker rockets and higher flying planes.

Jobs for space stewards and pilots will open up. (Remember 2001: A Space Odyssey?) Even new kinds of automotive designers and engineers will rise.

Space insurance will be another market, when we graduate from just signing a waiver accepting all the risk of space travel to having proper policies in place helping future travelers.

Sure, right now only the rich will be accessing this dream, but in a generation or two, prices will come down for the middle class, and honeymooning in space will become a common boast.

Sure, right now only the rich will be accessing this dream, but in a generation or two, prices will come down for the middle class, and honeymooning in space will become a common boast

And deep into the future, pilotless space tours, autonomous space vehicles, maybe a floating tech park for exotic spas and parties and high-level meetings could await us.

Spaceports (airports in space) are already being planned. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is already overseeing an increasing number of spaceports, to ensure there’s enough space for them.

Flight Experiences, Both Space & Earth Bound, Will Improve

Blue Origin’s and Virgin Galactic’s flights lasted about 10 and 90 minutes long, respectively, which are relatively brief. However, even in the near future, this time is going to get longer.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX already has plans for space tourism flights with several days in orbit around Earth. Plans for American billionaire businessman, pilot, and Shift4 Payments founder Jared Isaacman to pilot SpaceX’s first all-civilian flight, the Inspiration4, have been announced.

The company also has plans for private missions to the International Space Station and even a trip around the moon in the years to come.

Virgin Galactic alone has plans to launch 400 such flights on a yearly basis.

This can also do wonders for existing flight experiences here on Earth. We can expect the same technology to gently push up expectations and achievements in the airline sector in the form of more facilities and lesser time. This might also mean a some hike in prices.

Science Will Get a Boost

While this is a beginning of an era in space exploration and commerce, what else does mankind really achieve from this expensive aspiration?

From a scientific point of view, we are not breaking any ground, since the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin flights never entered the orbit. Scientists might pshaw at this, since NASA put people in suborbital space way back in the 1960s, but they must consider that this will loosen more purse strings for funding, considering the returns on this kind of research are about to shoot up.

Scientists might pshaw at this, since NASA put people in suborbital space way back in the 1960s, but they must consider that this will loosen more purse strings for funding, considering the returns on this kind of research are about to shoot up

And this is just the first step, the next step will be orbital flights as sub orbital ones get popular. As Bezos said at a post-launch briefing,

“The fact of the matter is, the architecture and the technology we have chosen is complete overkill for a suborbital tourism mission. We have chosen the vertical landing architecture. Why did we do that? Because it scales.”

In fact, these trips are already being marketed as potential opportunities for scientific experiments. For instance, the most recent Virgin Galactic flight took plants onboard, testing their response to microgravity.

What About the Environment?

The environmental factor is one of the most significant aspects of space travel. As soon as the sector opens up for business, big companies are likely to look at profits more than what such frequent flights to the orbit and beyond will do to earth.

The carbon footprint of each such flight is not going to be friendly, that’s a forgone conclusion. However, as more criticism of the same rises, research is bound to take this into account and look for more environment friendly innovations.

The thought process can go in any direction, for instance, instead of preserving Earth, we might start considering abandoning it

That said, a look at the auto industry doesn’t make one feel that optimistic.

The thought process can go in any direction, for instance, instead of preserving Earth, we might start considering abandoning it, i.e., the idea for colonization in space as Earth becomes uninhabitable.

Space Cybersecurity

As more data gets created, more hype spreads regarding space flights, cyber criminals will definitely make their presence felt, with either monetary or reputational motivation. This means space cybersecurity is going to be a thing.

“I think the cybersecurity aspect will also play a very vital role, so that people don’t get hacked,” Sridhar Tayur, a Carnegie Mellon business professor, told Recode.

According to Recode, the FAA has been involved in forming national principles for space cybersecurity. However, the US Congress hasn’t seriously looked into it yet.

Heralding a Future with an Eye on the Present

Space tourism definitely opens up doors for innovation, business, jobs, and aspirations. This can lead to not just business and scientific ideas, but it also opens up minds for possibilities that we haven’t considered yet, that have been too radical so far.

Not so much for mankind, but commercial space travel is a giant leap for the businessperson

Not so much for mankind, but commercial space travel is a giant leap for the businessperson. While it will be interesting to watch the developments and innovations in this sector, we must keep an eye on factors that will always matter, namely the environment, cybersecurity, and overall snobbery.

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