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The Future Of Space Tourism

Written by: Edgar Carlos

Space tourism has greatly changed over the last two decades, from companies offering utterly unaffordable space rides to now offering a somewhat fair price to experience an exhilarating experience. However, while companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic were very successful in sending civilians to space this year, many companies before these three were not so lucky in sending civilians to space. These space companies had many overpromised projects that never came to fruition due to their lack of experience and funding. While some organizations failed, those who succeeded were able to kick off a new age of civilian space travel.  


Brief History of Space Tourism

Space tourism organizations have come and gone over the last few decades. Many of them no longer exist and some have gotten to the point of sending humans to space. This year marked the first year in which SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic were able to successfully send civilians to space, breaking a record that was once thought of as a fictional idea. Before companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin existed, numerous space tourism companies came up with ludicrous space tourism projects. The first major space tourism company, Bigelow Aerospace, proposed to build an enormous space hotel for moon missions and low-earth orbits. Even though Bigelow Aerospace had enough experience in the space tourism industry, they didn’t have the proper funding to continue building space facilities, which is why the company laid off all of its employees in March 2020 after 20 years since its founding. Countless other space tourism companies with big promises of amazing civilian space flight advances just like Bigelow failed either due to their lack of experience or lack of funding.  


The Future of Civilian Space Flight

One company that was able to send civilians to space after numerous challenges was Virgin Galactic. It was first founded in 2004 and after only one year since its founding, the company was able to create a suborbital rocket called SpaceShipOne that won numerous awards for its rocket design and test flight. Sixteen long years later, Virgin Galactic sent a crew of five civilian members and CEO, Richard Branson, to space. The fact that it took Virgin Galactic sixteen years to launch their first civilian space flight shows the immense difficulty of successfully sending civilians to space without absurd costs. Virgin Galactic is now one of the leading space tourism companies. After their initial success of sending five civilians to space, the company will continue to conduct more and more civilian space flights, meaning that space tourism will eventually become cheaper and more widely accessible to everyone.

Figure 1

VSS Unity

Source: GQ


The future of space tourism is very bright. As companies such as Virgin Galactic continue sending civilians to space, going to space will become more accessible and cheaper for average civilians. Even though the history of space tourism had a rocky start, as many companies came with absurd ideas and projects, the companies that survived created a new age of civilian space flight. While it may not be easy launching a successful space company, in the end, those that do find success have created a whole new form of travel.



References and Sources

N/A, Britannica. “Virgin Galactic.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2021, Forczyk, Laura. “How to Spot a Failing Space Tourism Company.” Astralytical, Astralytical, 3 Mar. 2021,

N/A, N/A. “Space Tourism: 5 Space Companies That Will Make You an Astronaut.”, 23 Feb. 2021,

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