Essay on Space Tourism
Number of words: 715
Space tourism is the only transportation industry that can expose the risk of death due to the lack of independent safety certification. While potential travelers remain optimistic and okay with it, one cannot help but wonder what the cost of this obvious disregard to safety is in search of thrilling experiences. Space tourism companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have downplayed the risk and danger of space tourism, choosing to advertise the benefits alone. While space tourism was a concept that provided hope for ordinary citizens to visit space, it is clear that the cost of the endeavor is far more expensive than anticipated, the price on environment, cost on society, and the cost on efforts of equality, life and health issues and the economy. Space tourism, in theory, seems like a plausible idea with many benefits. Still, looking at the other side of the coin, it seems like too much trouble to entertain the minority rich people who can afford to pay for tickets.
The passing of the United States commercial space launch competitiveness act prevents and limits regulation which puts the responsibility on the passengers traveling to space. Previous failures that resulted in fatal injuries and death have shown that the industry is not stable. Due to a lack of history on the issue, it is hard to regulate or even assess the safety of the venture. Space tourism is even riskier due to the lack of government regulation; it might expose people to danger due to the lack of corporate oversight. As to the space companies, this is business as usual. The lack of accountability is horrifying (Pulatrova). Scientists have presented concern about the carbon footprint and the resulting black soot left in the stratosphere, which will profoundly impact the current climate change; the lack of regulation is also dangerous as warnings on the environmental threats have gone unheeded. The amount of money being spent on technology and research and even the travel itself is quite worrying that with all the global problems and failing economies, we choose to go on thrilling adventures in space (caro1120). The venture is lucrative since advertised tickets are expensive, and many people might divert to space tourism, leaving current industries bare, causing even more harm to the global economy. America is a global giant in industries and technology, but its diversion to space tourism might cause a domino effect to other countries dependent on its prowess. Also, the efforts to promote equality in society will suffer major setbacks induced by the gap between those who can afford it and those who cannot. And while we are all excited for the great achievement no consideration on the health and especially the mental health of the travelers and crew.
The harsh reality is space tourism is another entertainment venture for the extremely rich supported by an unbeatable PR operation that allows them to use taxpayer’s money and pay very little tax themselves to label rich people as astronauts. Perhaps the venture will be as beneficial as some think, but there is still the question of whether we should consider tackling the problems here on earth, such as human poverty and world hunger, instead of wasting money on space tourism.
Space tourism, however, as stated by Dale Scran of the National Space Society who refutes the claim of pollution, citing that there has been new developments in clean fuel used in travel, the amount of technology innovation that will be achieved, and also the impact on other industries and in the labor market (Society). Various studies have also indicated that space tourism is predicted to boost the economy. Tourism has always greatly impacted the world economy, and this new venture will undoubtedly increase it even more.
caro1120. “Space Exploration (Advantages vs. Disadvantages).” Soapboxie, Soapboxie, 5 July 2011, https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Space-Exploration-Advantages-vs-Disadvantages.
Pultarova, Tereza. “Do Space Tourists Understand the Risk They’re Taking?” Space.com, 27 Sept. 2021, www.space.com/space-tourism-risk-safety-regulations.
Society, National Space. Why Space Tourism? – National Space Society. 23 July 2021, https://space.nss.org/why-space-tourism/.