Space tourism: pros and cons and costs of space travel

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Joel Fulleda

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Flying into space, reaching the moon, being able to utter those words now branded in the minds of all fanatics and dreamers of interstellar travel: a small step for man, a big step for humanity.
It seems that it is no longer just a dream flying into space, to be tourists in the galaxy and see with your own eyes what until now only imagination and cinema have allowed us to see.
Yes, we are talking about space tourism, of tourist travel in space for pure pleasure. A delight, and this seems obvious, reserved for a few, because as you can imagine, space tourism does not go hand in hand with low cost ...
To see us along were, among others, those of Virgin Galactic, with the dreamer founder Richard Branson, who evidently must have feasted on Star Trek, 2001 A Space Odyssey and the books by Jules Verne, but at least, like some, he had the good sense not to call the prototype of a spacecraft-tourist " Icarus ".

It is called instead SpaceShipTwo, a sort of "double plane" that carries another aircraft, the White Knight, inside which passengers travel. When the SpaceShipTwo reaches 14-16.000 meters in height, the White Knight is dropped into the void in free fall for a few seconds, until then the super engines are turned on that will take the passengers to the edge of the atmosphere, right where the space begins about 100 km high.
No, no video game experience with asteroids to shoot down and planets to dodge, but one spectacular free fall, with the fantastic experience of weightlessness.


  1. How much it costs and the VIPs who will fly into space
  2. The pros and cons of space tourism
  3. Previous
  4. The crash of November 1, 2014
  5. User questions and comments

How much it costs and the VIPs who will fly into space

Several pigs have to be broken to collect what is needed for a space travel. A space flight from New Mexico on board the White Knight it costs around dollars 250.000. Of course, trifles for those who seem to be the first to experience flying as soon as the green light is given: there are rumors of Leonardo di Caprio, the Brangelina couple (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), Justin Bieber e Lady Gaga. Let's hope they turn on at least one stereo ...

The pros and cons of space tourism

Surely theopening of new frontiers could give the there to a new commercial branch, with all that comes with it, although it is certainly a elite tourism. They might be the most expensive 6 minutes in the world, but the problem, given the users, would not be this at all, but rather the pollution produced.
The main accusation against Mr Branson is that of investing in a project of total futility at the expense of a unprecedented energy consumption: a stroll in the space of a few minutes in fact consumes the equivalent of double the energy needs of an American family in one year!
The dream of touching the sun with a finger is therefore not without criticism, but the list of celebrities ready to ride the White Knight, in addition to the approximately 600 passengers who have already booked the first flights, suggest that the I dream of saving the planet it is not as good as the possibility of observing with your own eyes the curved horizon of the earth and the stellar panorama.


Not really a precedent since it is a stay of a week on the International Space Station, but Joseph Tito spent well $ 20 million in 2001 for his space travel, also booking a place in history like first space tourist.
Il Virgin Galactic's first flight instead, dating back to January 2013, it was a success, as it reached an altitude of 22.000 meters and a speed of 2.000 kilometers per hour, equivalent to 1,4 Mach.

The crash of November 1, 2014

Il first official flight it was scheduled for 2014, it will probably delay a bit due to Crash of the White Knight took place on the occasion of the official test of November 1, 2014. Taken in flight by the "mother ship" Spaceship Two, the White Knight once unhooked lost altitude and crashed in the Mojave Desert.
Unfortunately the accident cost the pilot his life, but the tycoon Richard Branson, after the customary condolences, said he was still confident: his project to conquer space goes on.

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