As SpaceX continues to improve their rockets and technology, becoming a private astronaut is becoming more of a reality. It’s not just Elon Musk and SpaceX. There’s also Richard Brandon and several other companies working to make it happen. Rather than just astronauts going into space, individual citizens want to as well. This may indeed be a precursor to colonies on the moon and even Mars.
At some point in the near future, you will be able to purchase a ticket into space. Of course, it’s not going to be cheap. This may only be something the rich get to experience. Eventually, technology may make it so such trips are more cost effective. It might require they pack as many paying customers onto a rocket as possible.
Still, the science behind it is fascinating. Something we would’ve never fathomed 50-100 years ago is finally within our grasp. Going where no man has gone before may one day be full of people living, traveling, and enjoying each other’s company. Instead of Disney, a trip to space may be what some families get to experience.
This idea is becoming so popular that even NASA is looking to jump in. For the right bidders, they want to take private astronauts to the Space Station for a short duration flight. They will be working with SpaceX and Boeing to make it happen. Of course, the cost will not be pretty. We’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions.
Obstacles of Going into Space
Let’s be honest here. The way the earth’s atmosphere and gravity work make it extremely different to leave the planet. We’re in an enclosed system. Overcoming our gravity alone to push a rocket into space requires a lot of fuel and propulsion. It costs NASA around $3,000 per kilogram of cargo.
The cost to launch typical cargo into space for NASA is about $3,000 per kilogram, and that doesn’t recover most of the space agency’s costs,” said Stephanie Schierholz. “From that, one can certainly infer that it is expensive to launch anything to space from Earth is largely a result of the ‘gravity well’ of Earth. Our gravity and the atmosphere that protects the planet also makes it challenging to leave it.”
Virgin Galactic is currently projecting a single space-flight ticket will cost around $250,000 per individual. The costs may climb higher as we get to the point of the first launch. There are a lot of other issues and prices to be worked out. The prices may also get cheaper as new technologies are developed.
NASA has different pricing. For a single day stay on the International Space Station, it will cost about $35,000 per day. That’s just for the stay. To get to the ISS would cost $52 million. That’s a large chunk of change. Just for access to the toilet, you’re looking at $11,250 per day, per person. Food and air would cost $22,500. $50 per gig of data if you want to use the internet.