The FAA is apparently anticipating that space tourism will be a billion dollar industry in ten years. Don’t get excited – that probably means about 10,000 people paying $100,000 each to go up and float for awhile. Or 2500 paying $250,000 each. The rest of us will just watch and envy (or indulge in schadenfreude, depending on how it goes).
“Based on market studies, we expect to see this type of activity result in a $1 billion industry within the next 10 years,” George Nield, associate administrator for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, told the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.
Now, I love the idea of non-governmental entities driving the next wave of space exploration, and I suspect it is necessary to get us moving. But my biggest issue with the whole idea is that space tourism looks like it will be more of a whim for the very rich than an option for the other 99.9% of the world.
If it is a step towards our grand-kids vacationing at Disneyland Mars for accessible prices, then so be it. Just imagine a roller-coaster in low gravity! But, like all humans I am a little peeved that there is likely no way I will be alive and healthy enough for that level of space travel. Sigh.