A Consideration of Space Tourism and the Race to Go to Space
The race to be the first human to walk to space is getting ever more intense with each passing day. Many space agencies and aerospace corporations are racing to get people into space and back. Private space flight is becoming a reality for many who see this as an opportunity to step into space and take it all on. The ultimate goal is to reach space and return safely. But why, if we are going to go, why not go to the next step and have a space flight simulator?
With today’s technology and materials, going to space and back is within the capabilities of most ordinary people. This will allow us to learn much more about space, not just from NASA or other spaceflight related organizations, but from private citizens. Imagine being able to design your own spaceflight, to design it to your specifications, and spend thousands of dollars to do it. It may even be something as simple as using CAD software to design a “model” of your spacecraft, and then use that same software to build a full sized model from that design in 3-D to build an actual physical part of your spacecraft. All of this is possible now with Earth orbit and spaceflight simulators.
The ultimate goal of space race enthusiasts is to see their beloved country reach outer space, and beyond. Not only is this will be the greatest adventure of our time, but it will also help us learn much more about how we live in a universe of ours, and how we should live in a society and world that are respectful of all beings that share the planet. As more private citizens seek to understand this important mission, we can learn a lot from the discoveries of others. As we become better able to reach space and learn from its experiences, we can perfect this technology for use here on earth. And with the likes of elon musk, we can inspire future generations to follow in his footsteps.
For decades, both the United States and Russia have been pursuing a space race to the stars. While we’ve spent billions of dollars on such projects as the James Bond franchise, and even got a small spaceplane or two to operate within the public domain, the real technological challenge is not one of space, but one of getting people to launch these expensive vehicles and attempt to reach space. For the most part, this is a problem, and we’re still waiting for the right technologies to take the place of our existing rocket technologies.
The ultimate aim of this effort is to develop new ways of traveling to space and doing it cheaper and safer. One solution being developed is the development of a reusable launch vehicle. Such a system would use solid fuel capsules (the same type you would use for airline travel) to launch astronauts to orbit and back. This concept could pave the way for cheap human missions to space in the near future.
In July 2021, the United States became the third country in the world to own a space exploration agency. NASA was created by a Congressional mandate and was later given authority by law to develop and maintain a space station. The first such structure – the International Space Station – was completed in November 1996. Although this was a major achievement, it has yet to be anything more than a laboratory for testing and monitoring technologies that will be used to go to and from orbit.
One of the biggest questions is how long before private companies launch an unmanned probe to bring samples of rock and mineral rich soil back to Earth. It appears that the first attempts will be made by private companies. If NASA is successful, and they are doing everything right, it will be a stepping stone to the eventuality of humans living in space. There is also talk of an eventual lunar race, whereby lunar colonies will be established by commercial companies. If you’re a skeptic, don’t be; the government has every intention of making such a race, but it will probably take humanity a century to get to the moon, and even then we’ll only have minimal equipment.
Some critics say that NASA is over-reacting, and that it’s a bunch of grandstanding to send a manned spaceflight to the moon. Indeed, I don’t buy that argument, and I’d like to see more emphasis on using technology for national security and preventing a nuclear war. Nevertheless, if President Obama and his team choose to back NASA, this is a very positive step, and I’d like to see more of it. Of course, if President Obama chooses to support a Commercial Crew Program, which I believe would be beneficial to the nation, then that would be a much better choice. Please consider all this.