What will people actually be able to see and experience on a space trip?

The biggest perk of traveling to space is the view. Just past the boundary between space and Earth, passengers can catch a stunning glimpse of our planet juxtaposed against the wide unknown of space. The view is meant to be awe-inducing, and the experience even has its own name: the Overview Effect. 

Another perk of these trips is that space tourists will feel a few minutes of microgravity, which is when gravity feels extremely weak. That will give them the chance to bounce around a spacecraft weightlessly before heading back to Earth.

26 STASHED

7 LIKES

Six questions to consider before launching yourself into space

vox.com

  • Right now, space tourism flights have only reached suborbital space, which means that flights enter space but do not enter orbit around Earth. Scientifically, that’s not a new frontier (done by NASA back in the early 1960s).
  • Right now, it’s not clear these trips will offer scientists major new insights, but they might provide information that could be used in the future for space exploration. These trips are also being marketed as potential opportunities for scientific experiments.
  • Suborbital spaceflight might also create new ways to travel from one place on earth to another.

24 STASHED

4 LIKES

Right now, it’s not entirely clear just how risky space tourism is.

  • One way space tourism companies are trying to keep travelers safe is by requiring training so that the people who are taking a brief sojourn off Earth are as prepared as possible.
  • On the flight, people can experience intense altitude and G-forces.
  • There’s also the chance that space tourists will be exposed to radiation, though that risk depends on how long you’re in space.
  • Some tourists will likely barf on the ride.
  • There doesn’t seem to be an age limit on who can travel, though.

23 STASHED

7 LIKES

The leaders in commercial space tourism already claim they have a market to support the industry. While Jeff Bezos hinted the price would eventually come down — as eventually happened with the high prices of the nascent airline industry — for now, ticket prices are in the low hundreds of thousands, at least for Virgin Galactic. 

That price point would keep spaceflight out of reach for most of humanity, but there are enough interested rich people that space tourism seems to be economically feasible.

23 STASHED

4 LIKES

  • The emissions of a flight to space can be worse than those of a typical airplane flight because just a few people hop aboard, so the emissions per passenger are much higher. That pollution could become much worse if space tourism becomes more popular.
  • The carbon footprint of launching yourself into space in one of these rockets is incredibly high, close to about 100 times higher than if you took a long-haul flight.
  • These flights’ effects on the environment will differ depending on factors like the fuel they use, the energy required to manufacture that fuel, and where they’re headed.

25 STASHED

5 LIKES

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has generally been given the job of overseeing the commercial space industry. But regulation of space is still relatively meager.
  • One of the biggest areas of concern is licensing launches and making sure that space flights don’t end up hitting all the other flying vehicles humans launch into the sky, like planes and drones.
  • There’s a lot that still needs to be worked out, especially as there are more of these launches.
  • In the meantime, no government agency is currently vetting these companies when it comes to the safety of the human passengers aboard.
  • There doesn’t seem to be an abundance of travelers’ insurance policies for space.

24 STASHED

2 LIKES

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP: