Affordable personal spaceflight for the average person. When?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Gymnut, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #1
    When do you think space travel will become affordable to the average person? Fifty years? A hundred years? Short of becoming a NASA astronaut/cosmonaut/taikonaut, currently the only way for the average person to get into space is via the Russian Space Agency at a cost of $30 million a seat. There are a number of private companies that are developing space tourism projects but projected costs are thought to be $200,000 per passenger and the trip would last mere hours. I'm 26 years of age and I'd like to think that somtime during my life, space travel will be affordable to the masses.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/07/18/space.tourists.ap/index.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_tourism
     
  2. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #2
    I'm not sure it'll ever happen. If we manege to solve the energy requirements problem there's still the issues of solar radiation and long-term effects of space travel on human physiology to overcome before we can build the large off-world habitats that would mean mass-market space-travel becomes necessary. However, in the meantime robotics and computing advances makes it increasingly likely that automated missions, even to collect resources, become a far cheaper and safer option.
     
  3. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #3
    I think we can draw some parallels between space flight and the history of atmospheric flight. There was a point when it was predicted that we would all fly to get where ever we needed to go. Then the FAA was created and flying became, well, less simple then just jumping in your plane and going somewhere.

    As soon as a civilian space flight kills someone, I expect a federal agency to be placed in oversight or created anew to develop safety regulations and generally make everything more expensive.

    And I agree with dynamicv. Until we are doing something in space that becomes profitable it will be unnecessary to move people around in a cost efficient manner.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    What's "affordable"? If you want to go on a website, find a last-minute special for $300, and then go into outer space, then I'm guessing 40 years after commercial space vacations become developed and marketed, or around 50-60 years.
     
  5. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Location:
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    #5
    We've got a long way to go before spaceflight will be considered "affordable" for the average person. And by "average person", I assume you mean average middle-class American or otherwise Westerner? We're all quite rich compared to the average human.

    I'm sure the price will be a lot more reasonable in 50 years, but it'll probably be a part of a sub-orbital airline flight rather than just a trip to space for a vacation.
     

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