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                  So You Want to Be a Space Tourist? Here Are Your Options

by Adam Mann / Jul.21.2017 /11:30 AM ET

      Though we’ve been living in the Space Age for more than half a century, going into space remains an extreme rarity. Fewer than 600 people have gone above the Kármán line — the point, about 62 miles above Earth, that marks the beginning of space — and all were put there by the U.S. or another nation's government.

      But the rise of private spaceflight companies like Virgin Galactic and Space X means that the final frontier may soon be within reach of a great many more of us. The firms have announced plans to put private astronauts, a.k.a. space tourists, on orbital or suborbital flights within the next few years.

      Initially, the cost of a ride on one of these rockets will be hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum. That puts the experience within reach of only the wealthiest people. But advances in rocket and capsule design are expected to lower the price to the point that people of more modest fortunes are able to afford a ticket.

      Some projections put the global space tourism market at approximately $34 billion by 2021.

                           What Space Tourists Can Expect

      What exactly is in store for space tourists? The excitement of a rocket ride and a chance to experience weightlessness, for starters. And the bragging rights are hard to beat. But some say the biggest benefit of going into space is getting a dramatic new outlook on life on the fragile blue marble we call home. It’s a perspective shift that could have profound implications not just for individuals but also for society at large.

      “I personally believe the planetary perspective is going to be crucial to solving humanity’s biggest challenges over the next century,” says Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. “I’m inspired that we’ll take people up so they can experience that view, which is said to change your world view in a fundamental way.”

Adapted from: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/so-you-want-be-space-tourist-here-are-your-options-ncna784166


weightlessness: ausência de peso; bragging rights: direito de gabar-se; to afford: poder comprar.

“The fragile blue marble” (paragraph 5) is a metaphor used by the author to refer to
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