In mid-January, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who in 2018 was announced by the head of SpaceX Elon Musk as the first space tourist ready to fly around the moon aboard a Starship rocket, launched a campaign to find a "companion" for his voyage to Earth's satellite. There are still years before this flight: it is likely that the world will become different, and the phrase "space tourism" will sound completely different.
Now space tourism is more like a concept from the recent past: the first such tourist was in 2001, a businessman from the United States, Denis Tito, who paid $ 20 million for the right to visit the International Space Station (ISS).
Anyone who is interested in the subject of space has heard about this. But the fact that only six people followed in Tito's footsteps is not so widely known. Just like the fact that the last "tourist" flight was made 11 years ago - back in 2009.
The problem was not only about money: after all, several tens of millions of dollars is a relatively modest amount, considering the billionaires in the United States alone - more than 600 people. The main difficulty is time costs: long preparation, a lot of tests and by no means a comfortable flight to the ISS were associated more with extreme tourism than with a comfortable tour in order to see the Earth.
From this point of view, the period 2001-2009 can be called a false start of space tourism, clearing the field and giving an understanding of how to do business for new players, who, according to experts, will also find it difficult. Space tourism will in any case remain a kind of additional commercial service, when the classic launch of spacecraft brings much higher profits to companies that own their rockets, says Alan Gubiev, head of launch projects at Innovative Solutions In Space (Netherlands): “Space tourism will be a nice addition to the share revenue, but will not replace the market for putting satellites into orbit ",
For none of the companies dealing with the topic of space tourism, this direction is the main business model, notes Gubiev: projects that focused only on space tourism (Armadillo Aerospace, XCOR Aerospace, Golden Spike Company, Excalibur Almaz and others), "closed after running out of funding."
At the same time, according to the UBS forecast, by 2030 the volume of the space tourism market will reach $ 3 billion - a niche for which one can quite compete. Especially considering the fact that "adult" players (and not startups) have projects in which they can bet on cosmotourism. We are talking about the companies Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, which are beginning to shape a new travel industry.
Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin plans to start with suborbital flights, since it is safe and relatively cheap to launch tourists into orbit - it costs about $ 250,000 - and a flight to the ISS will cost $ 30-40 million. The founder of Virgin had similar plans Galactic and Bezos' main rival, billionaire Richard Branson. He plans to conduct the first tourist space flight by mid-2020.
Both Bezos and Branson are distinguished by their simplicity of approach to the issue: instead of long training sessions, an exhausting journey to the ISS and a period of adaptation after returning to Earth, clients are offered turnkey tours on the border of space - about 100 km above sea level - with the fastest possible preparation and a short (several minutes) stay in zero gravity. That's enough to feel like you're in space and take a selfie. Don't kid yourself: this is exactly what most space tourists need.
The closest thing to the "case" at the moment came exactly in Blue Origin. The company announced a very possible first launch of their module (using a New Shepard rocket) with people on board a year ago, but so far it has not progressed beyond test flights with dummies.
“Humanity will not remain forever on Earth, but in pursuit of light and space, it will first timidly penetrate beyond the atmosphere, and then conquer the entire solar space” (K. Tsiolkovsky).
A few decades ago, these words were perceived as the fantasies of a provincial eccentric who dreamed that thousands of people would live and work in space. There will be astronomical observatories for studying the universe, research institutes and experimental workshops. There will be sanatoriums for weightlessness treatment of heart patients. Orbital stations there will densely fill the near-earth space. Connecting with each other, they create whole islands floating in the sky. The stations will receive thousands of tourists wishing to look at the Earth from the outside.
And here we will stop. Because it is already becoming a reality. Already in 2002, a conference dedicated to round-the-world travel was held in Washington, at which representatives of NASA announced that the era of mass space tourism was approaching, and this would happen in 2004, and in 15 years the first real hotel on the moon would appear.
Already in Japan and the USA there are travel agencies offering space tours. The Japanese firm KNT, one of Japan's largest tour operators, has announced that space tourism will be the main driving force behind the 21st century travel industry. To begin with, KNT tackled more affordable flights in lower orbits. They will cost about 98 thousand US dollars. The training of personnel has begun: soon the Rochester University of Technology of the USA will conduct a graduation in the specialty "Space tourism".
Travelers are attracted by the opportunity to live in space hotels - first, small accommodation facilities for 10–20 guests will appear, then hotels from 100 beds to hotels with 1000 beds with gyms, casinos, swimming pools and other entertainments will be built. Engineers at the Shimizu construction company have designed a whirligig dwelling that will be located 450 km from Earth. Buildings, restaurants, concert halls and utility rooms are supposed to be located around its axis. Another Korean corporation claims that in 2017 it will equip an orbital hotel, the guests of which will eat food grown right here, have fun in zero gravity and go into outer space. Humanity will have to explore the Moon and Mars.
A project of orbital cycler hotels is proposed, which will fly between Earth and Mars. The project is based on an inexhaustible source of energy - the gravitational forces of two planets. The distance of 285 million km will be covered in 6-9 months.
So, space tourism is paid from private funds flights into space or into near-earth orbit for entertainment or research purposes. Space tourism began to develop actively at the end of the 20th century. In 1990 g. The first commercial cosmonaut Toyohiro Akiyama (Japan) flew into space on a privately funded project of the TBS television company (read more on our website: First space tourists). Then Helen Sharman (Great Britain) also went into space on the privately funded Juneau project (a consortium of British companies).
50 years ago, when humanity was just beginning to explore space, the pace of the space race was unprecedented. It took only eight years from the first flight into space (1961) to the first man's step on the Moon (1969)! But in the 1970s, states calculated their spending on space, and an unpleasant sobering ensued.
So, for the $ 25.4 billion spent by the Americans on the construction of the lunar module and the expedition, 15 of the same modules could be cast from pure gold. Taking into account the cost of space infrastructure, the flight to the moon cost the United States $ 100 billion.It was fantastic money: a barrel of oil at that time cost only $ 2 (two!) Instead of today's $ 50 (approximate cost for 2016), and a gram of gold - just over $ 1. In total, every American family paid $ 472 in taxes for broadcasting TV coverage from the Moon - the price of a decent car (at the time). How much money was spent on the unsuccessful lunar rocket N-1 of the USSR is unknown. But by the mid-1970s, both the USSR and the United States became clear: both superpowers could not stand the pace of space competition.
Nowadays, the question of technological competition between socialism and capitalism is no longer worth it, and there is no longer any point in measuring space rockets. Even the "great lagging" China, which has become the third space power, is unlikely to change the position of the "public sector" in the space economy. In the end, the same disappointment awaits him: today there is nothing for a person to do in space. But who said that something needs to be done in space?
The ups and downs of space programs in the recent past, in addition to many negative results, have given one big positive effect - advertising. The profession of an astronaut has become so elite, and space flight has become such an amazing event that tens of millions of boys have appeared in the world who dreamed of one day flying to the stars. Today they are already over 40, some have become wealthy people, still dreaming of other planets.
On the other hand, over 50 years of development, astronautics has developed reliable and proven technologies for delivering a person to orbit and even further. From the fusion of human whim and technological capabilities, space tourism was simply bound to be born. If a person has nothing to do in space, it means that he will fly there because there is nothing to do - to have fun.
The first private spacecraft in the history of mankind was the SpaceShipOne of American engineer Bert Rutan. On September 29, 2004, he made a suborbital flight, rising to an altitude of 115 km. Rutan has dozens of followers - self-taught engineers and teams from small firms from around the world, who are about to launch their versions of ships into near space. And these are not small amateur projects: "private traders", for example, were able to build a serious launch vehicle Falcon I and Falcon IX, as well as the successful Dragon space transport.
Dragon Orbital Ship.
In the nearest future the company plans to launch a rocket with a monstrous carrying capacity of 100 tons (Falcon Heavy), on which you can easily fly not only to the Moon, but even to Mars! If a private company is able to create a rocket of such a carrying capacity, then a flight to the moon will most likely be also private. Millionaires want to have fun, why not give them that opportunity?
The first man in space and the flight to the moon will certainly go to the golden pages of human history. But who and how will write the chronicle of space further? It is very possible that entrepreneurs and space tourists will do it.
Flight of Gagarin: the beginning of the era of manned space exploration. By the way, during the flight, Gagarin was lounging like a real tourist.
How many times have many of you enjoyed watching movies about space exploration? Or what dangers are encountered there, problems arise, or, conversely, discoveries? Personally, we are constantly. Space theme is one of the most beloved in cinema. And, at times, regret arises that he was born quite a bit earlier than the time when all this would have been a reality, and all that remains is to re-watch your favorite films again and again.
But we hasten to reassure you! Not everything is so bad, in fact. And for us, young people, there may still be a chance in the near future to experience all the delights of cosmic life, which is now available only to a select few. And even more so for our children. One has only to open his eyes a little and be convinced of the incredible progress that the space industry is making at the moment. Indeed, for those who were born in the 70s and 90s, the space industry was in a kind of stupor. The Cold War, no matter how bad it was, still had a significant positive impact on the development of research and development in this area. And after that there was only a period of stagnation. And we all have already lost all hope that someday we will live on Mars.
But things are changing now. The development of private commercial astronautics is in full swing. Flights are getting cheaper and the world is already seriously talking about cosmotourism and the use of space for private business. What does it say, tickets are on sale for SpaceShip Two for years to come! Humanity is already without any doubt looking into the future of space, where there will be reconnaissance missions, study and landing on other planets, mining and production of resources in space. Everything that we saw in the films gradually becomes reality.
Of course, in Russia so far all space exploration belongs to the state and only small subcontracts are sometimes given to private commerce. However, this will change in the future, like the whole world. Pay attention to how many new professions have appeared over the past two decades in all areas of our lives? Computers, robots, new technologies, etc. The same prospects await space. After some time, space will begin to be actively explored by various companies and private organizations, and vacancies such as "Looking for a geologist to explore deposits on Mars, a contract for 5 years" will become quite a natural phenomenon. Therefore, we bring to your attention a number of professions of the future, personnel for which, according to the assumptions of leading experts in this field, need to be trained already now.
Specialist in the design of structures in open space (near-earth stations and stations on the Moon and asteroids).
Over the past half century alone, more than a dozen orbital stations have changed in space. Some of them were very small and consisted of 2-3 modules. Some are simply huge, like the ISS station, which is now sweeping across the dark sky as a bright star. Just imagine: its length is over 100m! The Chinese station has been in orbit for 4 years already, and soon, according to plans, Russia will separate from its own orbital home. Well, it's not worth talking about the number of satellites in orbit, because there are thousands of them.
Orbital commercial tourist flights are planned to start by 2020. And after a while, flights to the ISS will also be carried out. But this station is scientific and, although tourists still visit it, it is mainly scientists and engineers who live there with specific goals. Therefore, it is not surprising that for a long time there have been talks and projects of tourist space hotels are being developed. And this, of course, will require a completely different infrastructure and specialists.
All these technological structures, like everything else in our world, also have a shelf life and cannot work forever, how regrettable it is. As practice shows, just throwing unnecessary parts into space is not the best idea. Every year the danger of damage to satellites and stations in near-earth orbit by space debris increases more and more. And in the same way, the number of launched vehicles is growing every year.
So we can confidently assert that in the very near future there will be such a profession as "Designer of the life cycle of space structures", which will directly solve this problem and make its own additions to the design decisions of the developers regarding the subsequent disposal and reassembly of spacecraft, or to solve these problems on the spot, based on the technologies and components available to him. Such a profession will be most relevant for inhabited stations on the moon, other planets and even asteroids, where it is quite problematic to deliver new materials and spare parts.
Space tourism - private funded flights into space or low-earth orbit for recreational or research purposes.
The first space tourists
The idea of space tourism was first reflected in a series of papers by Barron Hilton and Kraft Eric, published in 1967. They first tried to push the idea of commercializing space. At the time, it was unsuccessful.
Space tourism began to develop rapidly at the end of the 20th century. In 1986, at the International Astronautical Congress, a report was presented on the topic "Potential Economic Implications of the Development of Space Tourism", which caused a lot of discussion not only in scientific but also in business circles.
The first tourist was supposed to be the American teacher Christy McAuliffe, who died in the 1986 Challenger shuttle launch. Following this incident, the US government passed a law that prohibited non-professionals from flying into space.
In 1990 and 1991, the first commercial cosmonauts Toyohiro Akiyama (Japan) and Helen Sharman (Great Britain) flew into space, who flew to the Soviet orbital station "Mir" on spacecraft Soyuz TM-11/Soyuz TM -10 and Soyuz TM-12/Soyuz TM-11 for privately funded non-state projects of the TV company TBS and Juneau (a consortium of British companies).
Roskosmos and Space Adventures are organizing tourist flights. Space Adventures has been cooperating with Roscosmos since 2001. In total, with the help of this company, seven tourists have already visited space (data at the end of 2012), and one of them (Charles Simonyi) twice.
Space tourists are trained in Star City, the city of Shchelkovo near Moscow, as well as in small airplanes that create weightlessness.
Although the cost of an orbital tour is $ 2-23 million, the number of people wishing to see space is steadily growing. Since July 2007, the cost of the space tour has increased from $ 2 to $ 30-40 million. In addition, the price of a new service - the space tourist's exit into outer space - was announced - $ 3 million.
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