Space tourism, an emerging industry not long ago considered only in science fiction, is about to become a reality. Some companies, including SpaceX under Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s blue origin and Virgin Galactic, are competing to become leaders in the space tourism industry. < / P > < p > what space travel requires and how much per person costs depends on the company’s technical capabilities, and there are big differences. In addition, there are significant differences in the cost, experience and even risk of space travelers going to suborbital or orbital space. In a report last year, UBS estimated that the potential market value of suborbital and orbital space tourism would reach $3 billion by 2030. < / P > < p > Virgin Galactic has sold tickets from $200000 to $250000 per ticket to about 600 passengers, although the company expects to significantly increase the price of its first commercial flights. Blue origin said its air ticket prices have not yet been determined, but Bezos expects ticket prices to be comparable to those of competitors. < / P > < p > so far, Virgin Galactic has sent five people into space through two test flights. The five were company employees. Four pilots controlled the spacecraft, and chief astronaut trainer Beth Moses was on board as a test passenger on the second flight. George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic’s chief space officer, previously classified space travel flights as “outdoor luxury experience,” the fastest growing segment of the luxury market. < / P > < p > “we believe that in the next few years, about 2 million people around the world will be able to access this experience at this price. Over time, when we can lower the price, the market will explode. There may be 40 million. Whitesides said in a speech last year. Both Cowen and UBS recently surveyed high net worth individuals and their interest in suborbital space travel. Cowen’s survey exceeded Whitesides’ estimates because the company found that the total potential market for space suborbital travel was about 2.4 million people with personal net worth of more than $5 million. < / P > < p > UBS surveyed more than 6000 high net worth people, especially those travelling on Virgin galaxy. About 20% of the respondents said that after the company started regular flights, they “may buy tickets for the spacecraft within a year.”. UBS said the figure would rise to more than 35 per cent “after several years of safe operation”. < / P > < p > the suborbital flight reaches an altitude of about 100 km and allows passengers to stay in space for a few minutes. In contrast, orbital missions can reach an altitude of 400 kilometers and stay in space for a few days or even more than a week. At present, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and manned dragon spacecraft have the ability to enter the field of orbital tourism. This summer, SpaceX launched two NASA astronauts into space for the first time, a historic event for both Musk’s company and NASA. The test flight made SpaceX the first private company to put people into orbit. < / P > < p > but in the next few years, the manned dragon spacecraft may not be the only choice for private passengers going to the international space station. Boeing’s starliner capsule is also designed to carry up to seven passengers, although delays in test flights mean the spacecraft is still in development. Boeing is allowed to sell a fifth seat to potential space tourists, following a contract with NASA to carry four astronauts in a single flight. SpaceX beat blue origin and Northrop Grumman to win a $316 million air force contract

By ibmwl