Space tourism will continue to make headlines this month. Not only did Sir Richard Branson reach the edge of space onboard his Virgin Galactic Unity 22 on the 11th of July, but Jeff Bezos is also getting prepared for a space trip using a spaceship he himself has paid to build.
ICYMI: Richard Branson reaches space on Virgin Galactic flight. pic.twitter.com/Qv9UdJDRy0— CNBC (@CNBC) July 12, 2021
While for many people this hype introduces a beginning of a billionaires' race to outer space, given the fact that a number of the world's richest people have expressed their intentions to travel to other parts of the galaxy, this trend is actually more of a business-driven marketing stunt.
Yesterday, Virgin's Richard Branson flew over the edge of the world, literally, and enjoyed several minutes of gravity-less floating, before his plan-like space ship was able to land back on earth safely, in an event that was watched by millions of people around the world.
Next Tuesday, the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, will too be taking a space trip along with his brother, using the New Shepard spacecraft built by an aerospace company he owns, called Blue Origin, in what has been described as a "suborbital sightseeing trip".
For several years now, Tesla's Elon Musk has been talking about his intentions not only to travel to outer space but also to build the first human colony outside of planet Earth, which is supposed to be on Mars. Musk has already founded the ambitious SpaceX which has yet to start sending humans on aerospace touristic trips.
Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, along with fellow billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX, are competing head-to-head in the emerging business of space tourism ⤵️— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 11, 2021
▶️ https://t.co/BaC5MYdAt8 pic.twitter.com/eg4jqQIm3U
Even though the American millionaire Dennis Tito was the first non-scientist to take a commercial trip to space back in 2001, costing him at least $20 million, these latest announcements by the world's prominent businessmen are not merely meant to achieve childhood dreams these businessmen have always had. Rather, they are major marketing tools that will eventually support their long-term plans to take over a whole new business; that is commercialized space travel, one that is only meant for leisure purposes.
While the overall cost of each flight to space has not yet been disclosed to the public, tickets that will enable interested individuals to make such trips will range between $200,000 and $250,000 per person, experts explain.
So far, the flawless Unity22 trip taken by Branson and his staffers has generated an overwhelmingly positive reaction across the world, getting millions of people quite excited about the possibility of taking such safe trips one day, especially as space travel experts point that travel costs will get cheaper over time, that it might get even non-millionaires interested in a few minutes around the Earth.
How soon do you think will space travel become part of everyday activities for humans? Do you think that billionaires' trips in 2021 will help their plans to control this futuristic industry?
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