SpaceX - How soon can anyone travel to space?
In a bid to send the first people into space for over 2 years, Elon Musk's SpaceX has been planning to launch their newest model, Falcon 9. The space mission will be transporting NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley - The scheduled launch was pulled back on the 27th May due to poor weather conditions, the new launch time planned is Saturday 30th May (weather permitting).
In terms of commercialising space travel, estimated costs of a seat can range from anywhere between $250,000, to millions of dollars. The truth is, there isn't any way to accurately determine space flight costs, as some journeys will still orbit the earth, others will brush the moon, and some will be set to fly past the ISS (International Space Station).
Elon Musk founded SpaceX way back in 2002, and his main intention was to reduce the overall cost of space travel, whether that is for astronaut missions, or commercialised space flight - He still hopes to bring the cost of space travel down by a factor of ten, or under $500 per pound of rocket fuel, to get the rockets to space, to the moon, or even to mars, although the latter is probably many years away.
SpaceX isn't the only organisation proposing commercial space flight, Virgin owner Richard Branson has his own subsidiary, in the form of "Virgin Galactic". They held their first "space" flight back in 2018, when their vehicle reached an altitude of 82.7 kilometres, which is classified as part of space. Branson's ambitions for space travel expansion could be limited, due to the fact that his airline Virgin Atlantic has recently entered administration.
Reports have suggested that he may have to sacrifice Virgin Galactic, to save the crippling airline - This may mean space exhibitions for Branson's company are held off for at least another couple of years.
Space travel, as we all know, peaked in 1969 when the first ever moon landing occurred, since then, it has been an ongoing pledge to try to facilitate travel further afield, in the view of planets, scientists are looking at Mars as an option. Until we can get to that point, the near future looks like a time where commercialised space travel, or at least travelling above the thermosphere is concerned - Will be made to work on a more widespread basis, offering travel that is affordable to many more people than just millionaires and billionaires, with some estimates, including NASA's, saying that space travel could cost lower than five-figures within the next 10-20 years.
Space travel sounds like a wonderful thing to experience, and the technology behind it is second-to-none - We recommend you check out the launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 on the 30th May, and if you're reading this after the launch, make sure you go check it out on YouTube!
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