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Why this Matters: This publicity stunt is meant to suggest that the goal of space tourism — to bring ordinary citizens to outer space — is nearer than we think. Last week, another private company, Axiom Space, announced its crew for the company’s first mission to the International Space Station, which will take off in 2022. Each seat on this mission cost $55 million, in keeping with previous space flights, which is too expensive for the average consumer. But, the fact that private space flights are beginning suggests that space travel will become commercialized, and thus attainable to civilians who can afford the ticket.
A New Space Race
The Inspiration4 mission paints a picture of the contemporary space race, which is being enacted by private companies rather than governments. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Axiom, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX are competing to reach milestones in space travel: Axiom will be the first private company that takes civilians to the International Space Station, while Blue Origin (owned by Jeff Bezos) announced that it will put the first woman on the moon.
It remains unclear whether space tourism will be a viable business or how the privatization of space travel will affect our relationship with the cosmos. The winners of the Inspiration4 raffle will be announced in about a month and will be fitted for spacesuits and begin training.
Jared Isaacman, the commander of the Space-X flight, said in a statement: “I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth.”
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Debris from an out-of-control rocket from China hit the Indian Ocean near the Maldives on Saturday, causing NASA to criticize China for not meeting “responsible standards.” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement: “Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of […]
By Nancy Colleton and Anne Hale Miglarese We’ve all been there. Either as a child, in the back of your parents’ car, probably squashed between two obnoxious siblings or, as a parent of a restless toddler, 15 minutes into a four-hour road trip, the question always arises, “Are we there yet?” Those of us in […]
Jeff Bezos’ commercial space venture, Blue Origin, plans to launch its first crewed ship to space on July 20, aboard its suborbital space tourism rocket, New Shepard. The company announced on Wednesday that one seat aboard that flight will be auctioned off to support its Club for the Future Foundation.
Why this Matters: After much anticipation, space tourism is finally happening. Really.
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