With Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos recently venturing into space on their own (separate) flights, it seems that space tourism is on everyone’s minds. If this recent news has ignited your adventuring spirit and left you wondering how much it will cost you to go to space, then look no further.
How much are passengers paying for space flights?
As commercial space travel is so new, prices vary greatly at the moment.
The most expensive tickets reported are a staggering $55 million apiece. This is for the Axiom Space trip to the International Space Station scheduled for 2022. These individuals will spend eight days on the ISS.
Meanwhile, the final spot on the first flight of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s company, was auctioned off for $28 million.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic trips appear to be the cheapest so far.
600 individuals have already paid deposits for tickets that will cost them up to $250,000 (£180,000). A spot on the waiting list cost them $1,000.
Others have not yet disclosed how much they have paid for their tickets to space. However, it is reasonable to assume their tickets cost a lot.
Will the price decrease?
Already, two billionaire-led companies have successfully run space flights. Elon Musk’s SpaceX – which already works with NASA – is planning to run trips into the earth’s orbit, to the International Space Station and even to the Moon. Russian company Glavkosmos has also announced plans to sell tickets to space.
Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that space travel will become less exclusive and more widely available with time. If this happens, the price should decrease accordingly.
But, going to space is unlikely to ever be as cheap as flying within the Earth’s atmosphere.
Speaking to Money Transfers, José Mariano López-Urdiales, founder and CEO of zero-emission space logistics company Zero 2 Infinity, said: “Prices may come down, below $100k, in about eight years, which is a realistic time for a large enough fleet to be in place.”
Virgin Galactic predicts that the cost will fall even lower. The company has indicated it wants to offer tickets to space for around $40,000. This will depend on the level of demand and number of flights available, however.
Can you go to space for free?
The price tag is currently far too high for most people. That doesn’t mean budding space explorers have to rule out their chances of getting a seat on a flight.
Elon Musk has opened applications for eight people to join him free of charge on a SpaceX flight around the Moon, scheduled to take place in 2023. Your chances of getting one of these places may be slim – over a million people have applied so far – but it is not impossible.
At least two more lucky people will get to go to space for free. Omaze is running a competition to win a trip to space on a Virgin Galactic flight.
Space tourism flights are likely to become more common. As Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic schedule more flights – probably in 2022 – keep an eye out for more competitions.
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