Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that’s life-enhancing is worth doing.
It makes you want to live forever.
Some years ago it would have been impossible to think about space travel. Nowadays, with the development of industry able to send humans safely into space and return them back, it’s an expensive endeavor, but it is quite real for those who can afford it, want to experience weightlessness and watch the Earth.
In general, space tourism is a journey for leisure or business purposes. Currently there are two major companies that organize tourist flights in space: Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures, the latter of which works together with ROSCOSMOS. By 2020 Space Adventures plans to organize tourist flights around the Moon .
Space tourism has many benefits: it:
- gains a great deal of public attention which leads to significant investments into space industry;
- promotes the development of cutting-edge and safer technology;
- contributes to the development of innovations and research;
- leads to discovery from space research;
- provides new jobs;
- helps to gain priceless knowledge and experience about outer space;
- raises the environmental consciousness;
- promotes global communication and cooperation.
Space tourism has promoted the search for the medication for space sickness. In space, these symptoms begin as early as 7 minutes in orbit and may last 1 to 5 days .
Space tourism favors the decrease of launch costs and makes space open for business. The development of space technology and methods contribute to the better understanding of our universe and planet.
Space exploration may bring about the discovery of new minerals and materials. We may encounter with living beings that are better developed .
However, space industry goes through a certain tension as some countries are very concerned about the safety of sending its citizens into space. The growth of space tourism has its drawbacks. These include:
- astronomically high price for the technology;
- huge amounts of energy to load space shuttles;
- waste of natural resources;
- high set-up costs;
- negative environmental impact on outer space (pollution with space rubbish);
- human’s being in the hostile environment which involves harsh and challenging conditions to the health of space tourists;
- space radiation;
- tourists’ medical limitations to space flights of various durations [3, 6].
In addition, space tourists may unconsciously/unwillingly introduce harmful microorganisms from space into the atmosphere of Earth.
There are many “blank pages” in the law regarding the distribution of responsibility among tourist, tour operator and service provider, unresolved issues about the role of state, guaranteeing the safety of space tourists, selection criteria and peculiarities of preflight preparation .
To advance people’s interest in this rather new and exotic kind of travelling, the following requirements should be addressed:
- support of space industry by the government;
- creation of laws and regulations;
- funding of the space tourism industry;
- attraction of private funds .
At present, Russia has technical means and scientific recourses for sub-orbital and orbital space flights. According to the forecasts, by 2040–2050 we will have enough space tour operators who will deal with flights at heights of up to 100 km., as now companies carry out the transportation of citizens from one place to another. Moderate prices will accommodate most everyone who wishes to go to space. Moreover, suborbital flights will take passengers who want to travel to various corners of our planet, to reduce the time spent on reaching the destination. Eventually there will be commercial companies that will take passengers to both the International Space Station and private space stations. It will promote the psychological necessity of space tourism and satisfy people’s yearning after adventure. There should be special tourist centers for preparing space tourists .
Space tourism is not just fun for the rich. It is a noble endeavor and a step towards space settlement . We live in an epoch where space tourism is rapidly becoming a profitable commercial activity. It is undeniable that the development of space tourism is an inevitability which has a number of drawbacks. Despite all of them, space tourism is an exciting, glorious adventure allowing travellers to gain unusual, precious experience and knowledge. Moreover, if we launch vehicles on regular trips, they will be much safer and quicker. Space tourism is a force for progress, science, research, medicine and industry.
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