Sending man to space is possibly humankind’s greatest achievement of the last century. From the Moon Landing to the Hubble Space Telescope, space exploration is undeniably an epic matter. As space travel becomes more and more advanced, many wonder whether commercial space travel will someday become available for everyone.
It has been predicted that by 2017 a flight into space could cost over £100, 000 – a great deal more than even the most extravagant holiday on Earth. Despite the extra-large price tag, theories about commercial flights into space and holiday resorts on other planets seem to be in constant discussion. Jon McBride, former astronaut on the Columbia and Challenger space shuttles, commented on the possibility of holidays on the moon last year.
“If you’d been back in 1914 talking about what would be achieved in the rest of the 20th century – that there would be a man on the moon by 1970, that we’d be flying 500 people non-stop from New York to Singapore – people would have thought you were crazy,” he told the Mail.
The creation of colonies on the Moon is under serious consideration in order to aid in space exploration, and funding such projects would take a massive overhaul. Offering the opportunity of visiting the Moon to everyday people and building a tourism industry in outer space could be one method of generating massive amounts of income for space-oriented research.
However, since NASA have discovered more and more evidence for water on Mars via the Curiosity Rover, and have debated sending humans there, the concept of a holiday to the red planet is not far off either. David Baker, editor of Spaceflight, recently commented: “This is not speculation. The data is absolutely certain. The implications are colossal, and the biggest of all sounds like a science fiction plot… holidays on Mars.”
Baker also predicted that a round trip to Mars could take up to two years, with nine months spent on the journey and six months to stay – not a brief weekend away, but the trip of a lifetime in the making. The cost would also be enormous, but the experience like no other.
Of course, honeymoons on the Moon and resort holidays among Martians are a distant dream, but the speculation is fascinating. Perhaps by 2100 we could be swapping our bikinis for spacesuits and our passports for astronaut licenses. The developments in technology as a result could mean that flight times on Earth could be massively reduced, meaning that a flight to Thailand from London could only take up to two and a half hours!
Image credit: NASA