While humans have had the technology to travel to the moon for over four decades now, the idea of human tourism trips to the moon has always seemed like a far off dream. A Nevada based firm however sees this not as a far off dream but instead believes it could be a reality in the near future. Bigelow Aerospace is a Las Vegas based firm whose goal it is to make space travel a reality for the general population. The companies more present goals however include leading research expeditions to the moon’s surface in order to more closely research the environment of Earths closest neighbor.
Robert Bigelow, the founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace, says his first goal is to create an environment in which private firms such as his own would be able to work closer with NASA so that space exploration can continue to move forward. Currently NASA works fairly independently on its mission planning and then tries to find partners to fund its missions. Bigelow believes that this course of action is part of what is holding NASA back. He believes that a closer relationship between the public and the private sector will help to expand Unites States space exploration.
While NASA and various private firms are confident in their ability to make space travel more readily available in the near future, many people are still skeptical that these companies are as close as they say they are to having the technology available. This leads us to wonder whether Bigelow’s predictions are right or not. According to an investigation done by CBC news, he may not be so far off.
What their investigation uncovered is that while the technology is currently available for people to take trips to the moon, the cost is currently too steep to make it a realistic option for most people. According to The Golden Spike Company who plans to start offering moon landing expeditions by 2020, it will cost an estimated 750 million dollars per person to travel to the moon. This makes trips to the moon too expensive for the average vacationer.
Another option that may be available for a better price would be trips around the moon. Space Adventures, which is a space tourism company that currently offers trips to the ISS, plans to offer trips that would take tourists around the moon. A spokesperson for the company stated recently that they already have plans for the venture, and they hope to send their first tourists around the moon by 2017. These trips are still expensive however costing the lucky tourists 150 million per person. While this may seem like a steep price, the company stated that they already have interested individuals who will pay for the trip as soon as the necessary rocket has been made available.
So while it seems humans have made great advancements in technology when it comes to space travel, it is doubtful that tourism to the moon will become a regular adventure in next few decades. In order for the average citizen to be able to enjoy space travel, the technology will have to improve enough to make such trips affordable. However, for those who have enough money, space travel to the moon could be a very real possibility within the next ten years.