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How to become a space tourist: 8 (almost) startable companies

On April 28, 2001, 60-year-old American businessman Dennis Tito was the first tourist to leave Earth's atmosphere behind and spend nearly 8 days in space, many on board the International Space Station (ISS) – and allegedly paying 20 million dollars for it. Despite objections from NASA, who thought that Tito's education would be insufficient at the time of his flight – Tito also considers it probable that they were worried about his age – the tourism company Space Adventures negotiated with the Russian agency Roskosmos about a contract in a Soyuz

Since then, only six other space tourists were on the road, all of whom were traveling to the ISS on a Soyuz. The last, Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté, flew in 2009. The end of this early era of space tourism came about as a result of the doubling of crew aboard the ISS in 2009, which left no room for visitors to the station and the withdrawal of the Space Shuttle in 201

1, which meant that NASA needed all the extra Soyuz seats to launch their astronauts.

But the seven space tourists will not stay alone for long. Many private companies want to launch their own space tourism programs. You've probably heard of the biggest players in the private space game: Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic resumed testing its SpaceShipTwo vehicle earlier this month after a fatal test in 2014, and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' private space flight Project, aims to send manned missions into space this year.

And in addition to these felons, there is a whole host of other companies that offer tourists the opportunity to reach space too. Some are more developing than others, and there are always reasons to be skeptical about space tourism. We have seen many similar ventures that come and go over the years without going into space. But we remain optimistic. Here are the latest commercial space programs that you would like to take out of this world – for a price.

In early April, Orion Span announced his plans for Aurora Station and named it the first luxury space hotel in the world. Construction is scheduled to begin in space in 2021, using proprietary technology and construction methodology (which is not yet clear for missile system launch materials), the station will have two private suites with a total of four guests and two crew per stay. Guests must undergo a training program before traveling: "We have a traditionally 24-month training program to prepare travelers for a space station and to optimize them to three months," says Frank Bunger, CEO of Orion Span. "The first phase of the certification program is online, making space travel easier than ever, and the next portion will be personally taken at Orion Span's state-of-the-art training facility in Houston, Texas, with final certification completed during a traveler's stay at Aurora Station . "To actually send guests to Aurora Station, the company would partner with SpaceX for launches.

It costs $ 9.5 million per person for a 12-day holiday, making it one of the "more affordable" ways to live in space temporarily. "In the past, space tourists paid between $ 20 and $ 50 million to stay aboard the ISS," says Bunger. "Our long-term goal is to further reduce these costs, making the space accessible to more people."

Another note: Aurora Station also plans to sell space apartments if you wish to extend your stay a little

Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004 by Sir Richard Branson and wants to take tourists to the SpaceShipTwo satellite by a plane a rocket is launched to bring on suborbital flights. Although the company wanted to finish its maiden voyage in 2009, the first trip was delayed again and again. The most serious of these was the loss of VSS Enterprise during a 2014 test flight that killed co-driver Michael Alsbury.

On April 5, the company returned to tests of 84,271 feet with a test of VSS Unity, which reached a high. The ship finally wants to bring people to the edge of space, about 330,000 feet. Since SpaceShipTwo is not designed for long-term missions – the total flight time is just minutes – a seat in the vehicle for a suborbital flight costs $ 250,000, and passengers do not require extensive training. As of 2017, around 650 people had bought tickets.

Blue Origins New Shepard program, named after America's first man in space, Alan Shepard, attempts to launch passengers in a capsule on a rocket, just as in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo days. The program is still under development and the company plans to fly in late 2018 or early 2019 for its first flight with people aboard.

The short-term missions (lasting about 11 minutes) will probably require a training day that would take place right before the flight. The training includes mission and vehicle overviews, safety instructions and mission simulations. Tickets have not yet been released but are rumored to be comparable to other short-term missions – that is, in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Space Adventures is the only one responsible for organizing the launches of all seven space tourists Successful space company since today. Although it has not been able to send new guests to the ISS since 2009 due to capacity issues, it still promotes new missions, including a spacewalk on the ISS (no private citizen ever performed one) and a voyage around the moon also includes a stay on the ISS. While Space Adventures does not have its own spacecraft, it has long partnered with Roskosmos to send its guests into space via the Soyuz, and plans to do so in the future.

While his space voyages have been restricted since 2009 and there is no set time to restart, the company currently offers space adventures, such as trips to a Soyuz launch and flights to Zero-g.

Historically, Roskosmos worked with Space Adventures to launch Space Travelers the ISS, but recently began developing its own program. The Russian agency plans to build a luxury hotel room module for the ISS by partnering with RKK Energia, a space company. Guests of the hotel are expected to have private living space with four "bedrooms" (each about 70 cubic meters), sanitary and medical facilities and a lounge. Although his training plans have not yet been published, it is expected to be an abridged version of the professional two-year program, similar to Dennis Tito's 8-day experience. Prizes range from $ 40 million for one to two weeks to $ 60 million for a one-month stay, including a spacewalk by a cosmonaut. The agency plans to open the space hotel by 2022, although it should be noted that the ISS will retire in 2028, meaning the hotel could be a short-lived company.

In 2016 Roskosmos has granted the private company KosmoKurs permission to build a reusable rocket with the intention of sending tourists into space. Since only the designs have been approved, the company will likely test many years ahead of them before manned missions start. Similar to Blue Origins flights, the short missions (about 15 minutes, with just a few minutes of weightlessness) will start guests in a capsule on a rocket. The training program will take three days, and the entire package will cost about $ 200,000 to $ 250,000 per person.

Although Axiom Space offers its main services in research and manufacturing in orbit, the ultimate goal is to establish a commercial space station -proclaimed successor to the ISS. Although the company has not yet published details on its space tourism program, it should send according to its website until 2021 modules to the ISS and by 2024 own space station. Private customers can book between seven and ten They will complete a several-week training program before the trip.

While SpaceX by Elon Musk is not a space tourism company – it currently operates cargo missions for NASA and other customers – it is developing technology for manned missions aboard its Dragon spacecraft, which would normally carry NASA astronauts into space. In addition to its main activities, in 2017 the company announced its intention to fly two individuals on a circulating mission, following a similar plan as Apollo 8 (and the unintentional Apollo 13 route). Details are scarce, but Musk recently announced that the future lunar missions will not use Falcon Heavy missiles as planned, but a larger rocket in development, called BFR.

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