Vacation in Space?

by | Dec 9, 2021 | Living in the Future | 0 comments

Captain Kirk has now actually gone to space. Well, there’s some debate these days over what qualified as “space” for the purposes of quickie up-and-down visits, but the idea is there. While I’d personally set the benchmark as achieving orbit (i.e. needing additional thrust/maneuvering to get back down), the genie is out of this bottle. The rich and/or well-connected are intent on traveling to space, and for some definition of it, there are entrepreneurs delivering that experience.

At one point in history, automobiles were only for the wealthy. Same thing for air travel, electricity, indoor plumbing, and a whole host of other taken-for-granted amenities of modern life.

The next steps are bound to be a flood of imitators and bandwagon space-flighters (I’m not sure yet that it’s justified to call them astronauts) and longer trips. Eventually, services will start offering multi-day sojourns and hotel-lite amenities, competitors will spring up, price points will plummet.

The real question: what’s the timeline for this look like? Ten years? Fifty? A hundred?

When I was little, every kid wanted to be an astronaut (most of us were cured of that in 1986). How many will belatedly fulfill those dreams, not as intrepid explorers but as pampered tourists? And how many of us, too chicken to ride inside a missile, will get made fun of for it?

“Grandpa’s such a polar bear (or other extinct creature of the day). He won’t go on a rocket. It’s just to Mars.”

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