How Much Does A Trip to Space Cost?
While most civilians have watched the progress of the space program, sending astronauts off into orbit, probes to the planets, and out of the solar system, and hearing of the benefits of space technologies staying back here on terra firma, many of us have wanted to go to space ourselves.
Space tourism has begun to become viable. Paying customers are ready. With the former $20 million tickets, Dennis Tito the first among them (to the International Space Station) that remain as relics from another era.
Regardless, space ventures are beginning to move beyond 'proof of concept' and are entering into the arena of the privitazation of our local orbit. A business that will act to lower the price of spacefare tickets.
Current Destination OptionsUp until the year 2012 there has been one primary packager of orbital space trips and that has been Space Adventures Ltd. (through the 'Russian Federal Space Agency').
Space Adventures has been packaging lunar travel -- a circumlunar swing from inside a Russian Soyuz capsule - that carries the cost of a cool $100,000,000 that might also provide a wild exception to the trend of plummeting prices.
Virgin Galactic now heralds as the other main provider of space flights for the civil sector. Private trips are now currently expected in year 2019, according to Richard Branson. Its SpaceShipTwo comes appointed with smart seating, a generaous window view and a floating experence. Although reservations costing $250,000 have been halted for the present.
SpaceX, another company in serious competition for the consumer space dollar is doing so on a platform of cost reduction through the concept of re-usability. A Dragon capsule atop a Falcon rocket successfully docked with the International Space station in May 2012 for a demo flight and this same capsule can move crew. Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX and Chief Designer, has also revealed future plans that are headed for the moon, and colonization of mars to follow. In September 2018, the company issued a statement with plans to send a tourist around the moon on the company's Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).
Bigelow Aerospace, helmed by Robert Bigelow of the Budget Suites hotel chain, has developed habitation modules for possible use by civilians. The Genesis I and Genesis II modules have been launched, tested, and considered as forerunners for possible future habitat modules. Cost data however is scarce.