Jeff Bezos' Space Travel Ready by 2018 But How Much Could a Ticket Cost?
Most of us think that outer space is an endeavor reserved only for astronauts. Now, your dreams of traveling to space can be made possible by Blue Origin, a space company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Blue Origin, headquartered in Kent, Washington, triumphed over Elon Musk's SpaceX in November when it successfully launched a rocket into outer space and landing it upright when it descended back to Earth. After repeating the launch-and-return journey in January, Bezos decided that his company is nearly prepared to send people to space using those rockets.
When Will Space Tourism Happen?
Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, said that if the tests continue to have positive results, pilots will start going on test runs in 2017, while tourists can possibly be accommodated in 2018.
The company will send tourists six at a time above the edge of space, which is around 60 miles above the Earth. Prior to liftoff, tourists will train for a day in West Texas. Once in space, passengers will experience weightlessness like astronauts and each of them will get an HD video chronicling their trip upon return.
Engadget reported that to prepare for future space tourists, Blue Origin will build six New Shepards, its reusable rocket vehicles. Windows will be provided in the vehicles so passengers are granted great views of space.
Bezos' work in Blue Origin, which was founded in 2000, isn't cheap. He said that his investment to the company amounts to more than $500 million.
Bezos said that his company has been quiet in the past years because it hasn't achieved anything that is worth the attention yet, but after years of researching and testing, he claimed that there's "really exciting cool stuff that's not just hype is coming out the other end," the Washington Post reported.
Like Musk, Bezos is interested in colonizing Mars, but he also sets his sights "everywhere else" in space, the news outlet noted. He thinks that all heavy industry should move their production in space in the future, while Earth will remain as an exclusively residential zone where only light industrial work is permitted.
"Sometime in the next few hundred years, there will be a big inversion where we will realize that we shouldn't be doing heavy industry on Earth for two reasons: One, it's very polluting; and two, we don't have access to enough energy here do it. It just won't be practical," Bezos said, as quoted by the Washington Post.
How Much Would a Trip Cost?
Blue Origin hasn't announced a price for potential space tourists, but the firm is already taking the names of those interested in joining a future flight.
Virgin Galactic has charged $250,000 a flight in SpaceShipTwo, which is a winged vehicle that lands on a runway. Engadget wrote that Blue Origin's ticket price could reach around six figures as well.
The possibility of space travel for people who are not astronauts is exciting. It opens more doors than anyone could imagine; thinking about these advancements achieved by space companies makes you wonder what the future could hold for mankind.
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