Space Tourism – One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind

By Ryan White Updated: February 2023

Reaching the moon was one small step for man but one giant leap for mankind and now that leap is much larger. Now that leap includes space tourism. No longer is space open only for astronauts. Now it is open for anyone with the money to pay for a private rocket trip. The two and inaugural space tourism flights have successfully been completed, one by Jeff Bezos and the company Blue Origin and the other by Sir Richard Branson and his company Virgin. 

News about the two inaugural space tourism flights 

Blue Origin (Bezos) 

Jeff Bezos has made a name for himself for many things including Amazon but recently he has cemented his name and history by founding a rocket company called Blue Origin. Blue Origin recently launched a passenger space flight successfully. 

Who went to space?

  • Jeff Bezos along with his brother Mark Bezos, 

  • A Dutch teenager by the name of Olivia Daemon, 

  • An aerospace Pioneer called Wally Funk 

Wally Funk is now the oldest person to ever travel to space at the age of 82. An aviation legend, she has been waiting for a long time and she recently stated that she can't wait to go again.

What did they take?

  • Piece of canvass from the original Wright Flight

  • Amelia Earhart's goggles

So far the company has already approached 100 million dollars in private sales from people who want to take advantage of space tourism flights. The company has sold billions of dollars worth of Amazon stock in order to successfully invest in this space tourism company. In fact, websites like Amazon have entire videos of the flight you can watch from beginning to end.  The company already has plans to fly two additional human missions this year.

Virgin (Sir Richard Branson) 

Richard Branson started the company Virgin Galactic which successfully completed an hour-long trip into space. This billionaire has sought to create a space tourism company over the course of several decades. 

Who went to space?

  • Richard Branson

  • 5 other crew members

This trip confirms that the company is now successfully able to take passengers to and from space. Mr Branson plans to begin Commercial Services to and from space next year. Passengers will be charged hundreds of thousands of dollars for each space light.

This successful test flight evaluated all of the systems and the experience that passengers would have. The crew members on this original flight were able to unbuckle from their space seats, look through the windows back into Earth, out across the open expanse of space, and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness for a solid 15 minutes after the ships separated from the launch aircraft.

Mr Branson noted that this small trip was only something to prove the accessibility of it but now he and his company are pushing for more viable businesses that circle around the concept of human space tourism, an opportunity that until now has been previously dominated only by the government space agencies as well as scientific missions. 

Goals of Space Flight

Virgin Galactic has focused heavily on successful space travel without necessarily landing on the moon or on Mars but simply getting people out into space, above the atmosphere, where they can experience the beauty and joy of weightlessness and the great expanse of outer space. Similar goals are associated with Jeff Bezos and his company, focusing more specifically on encouraging space flight, space tourism, and other business endeavours that could help fuel the successful, long-term business of tourism-based space flight into space and back to Earth. These successful test flights proved that it is possible and there is ample room for growth meaning that hopefully, the prices for individual travel will go down over the next few years. 

They are not the only companies out there trying to make space travel and space tourism more attainable. Elon Musk and his company SpaceX plan to fly the chief executive from a payments company as well as three other passengers to and from space later this year. Of course, not everyone is looking just for the opportunity to head into space and then come back. Work by Elon Musk in particular is focused on colonizing Mars with the long-term goal of sending people to and from Mars for space tourism.

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Both Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk congratulated Richard Branson who made this trip to space successfully before anyone else and proved that it was possible for all of those involved in space tourism to meet their goals this year. 

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