By Charles Duncombe director of
Does Elon Musk’s, recent announcement that his “SpaceX” rocket could colonise Mars with humans as early as 2022, mean that space tourism is one step closer…or still one giant leap away?
Following his PayPal success, the 45 year old entrepreneur, Musk, started his SpaceX venture in 2002. From his 29 rocket launches so far,
two have resulted in disaster… which is not bad as space travel goes!
However the latest “mishap” will certainly result in a de-friending from Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook’s $200m communications satellite managed to give a new definition to “low orbit” as it got to 50ft above the ground before it blew up on one of Musk’s rockets.
And make no bones about it, space travel is a very dangerous activity. Space shuttle astronauts
are faced with a one in 25 chance of death and everyone remembers the Virgin Galactic test flight failure, which resulted in one pilot dead and another with serious injuries.
So if it’s so dangerous, why would anyone volunteer to become a space tourist? John Spencer, the president and founder of the Space Tourism Society based in LA, believes it’s the thrill of the experience that makes people keen to volunteer.
He said, “People are willing to risk their lives, pay large amounts of money, train and even have some discomfort to have that life-changing experience.”
Elon Musk has admitted that his 2022 launch date is optimistic, but he is adamant that colonizing Mars is possible.
Tickets to Mars will apparently start at $200,000, which is a hefty price to pay for risking your life. Money isn’t the only investment the consumer will have to invest – the trip will likely take 80-150 days.
But we might not have a choice. Stephen Hawking has been quoted as saying that space travel is our only way to survive. He thinks that a natural or man-made disaster will threaten our existence on earth and force us to vacate to another planet.
So let me leave you with the cheery thought that in the future you might end up becoming a space tourist whether you like it or not… as you are faced with the choice of probable death versus certain death!