Space Travel for the Masses. Are We Getting There Yet?

Is There Life on Mars? 

As many of the world’s billionaires continue to compete, civil space travel is starting to take off. How soon will space tourism become widely available when space exploration companies send their first crewed vehicles to the edge of space?

Getting funding right, working out schedules and generally getting projects into space is the main job on some of the upcoming space travel projects.

Virgin Galactic Space Flight

The latest civil spacecraft to push the envelope goes by the name of the Virgin Galactic VSS Unity. Scheduling for several suborbital test flights is in play for the end of 2021 in time for 2022 and the opening of the space tourism industry and civil space travel.

On July 11, 2021, the company founded by Richard Branson launched a test flight into space with two pilots, three managers, and the billionaire himself. The VSS Unit flew to outer space from the USA and reached the outermost part of space at 80 km (approximately 262,000 feet).

Many protested against his achievement by arguing that the Kármán line, which is considered the official beginning of space, is actually at 100km. Most other tourism companies aim to reach the 100km line rather than Bransons VSS 80km limit. 

The trip was a step forward for Virgin Galactic to get the civil flights off the ground for the start of 2022. To date, there are 600 active reservations, with each ticket selling for around $200.000 to $250.000.

If this sounds like something that you’d be interested in taking part in, the company has a raffle draw for applicants to win two tickets to space. Enter by September 1, 2021, to stand a chance to win. Participants can donate to Space for Humanity for an entry.

The space experience offered by Virgin Galactic takes place on the VSS unity ship and can carry six passengers and two pilots. Flights depart from Spaceport America in Truths or Consequences, New Mexico.

Passengers will view Earth from a completely different perspective from one of the 17 windows aboard the space shuttle. Travel companies will record the seven minutes spent on the edge of space for passengers to enjoy later. 

Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos will send the first suborbital space flight crewed by Blue Origin by July 20, 2021. Nine days after the first flight of Virgin Galactic, but 20km closer to the Kármán line.  

The test flight on July 20 is the 16th journey of the Blue Origin for the New Shepard car with its first passenger journey. Those interested were able to watch the flight live on the Blue Origin website. The Launch Site was in Van Horn, located around 120 miles from El Paso in Texas. 

Passenger flight plans included Amazon and the founder of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, and three passengers in the passenger manifest. Mark Bezos and Wally Funk, an 82-year-old female space training pilot from the 1960s, are two other passengers.

The 3rd passenger was the winner of a charity event held earlier in the year. In a charitable auction, the fortunate passenger paid $28 million for their trip to space. The money went to the philanthropic foundation Club for the Future to support STEM training.

Currently, Blue Origin has a human space travel license from the Federal Aviation Administration in August 2021. The public can start space tourism flights in early 2022 if the first crew flights are successful.

It will be a fierce competition to see which billionaire owners will launch into space first next year. 


SpaceX is the third US space tourism competitor. SpaceX has no plans to send its founder Elon Musk to space, but it is more exciting with its spatial model. SpaceX plans to send travelers to real outdoor space for a multi-day trip, and in a typical Elon Musk style, travelers can stay on the spacecraft as they orbit the Earth.

SpaceX has already claimed the first spaceflight crewed after the Space Shuttle. Two astronauts conducted this flight in May 2020. Another successful Crew-1 trip mission to the International Space Station took place in November 2020, successfully attracting four astronauts.

No official announcement as to when civilians will be able to participate in the flights is on the cards anytime soon. However, when that happens tickets will also cost more than $1 million each because of the complexity of this route.

Elon Musk has purchased a ticket for the future space flight of the Virgin Galactic. SpaceX is hoping in time to carry out missions both to the Moon and Mars. According to the company, landings could take place as early as 2024.

Things To Remember

If you fly on one of the suborbital flights offered by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, your ride will be a quick up and down flight towards space rather than a complete Earth orbit. 

Although the journey is short, it will be a relatively easy tour for you compared with professional astronauts. You don’t have to worry about who’s driving and all the technical behind-the-scenes elements. 

There are relatively few training programs for suborbital tourist spaces, maybe for only a few days.


Space tourists should focus first on either Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin flying. These flights are easier because they are far less expensive. Is 2022 the year for space travel? It’s starting to look like the tourism industry is no longer earth-bound. 

In 2022, space tourism will be a reality if everything goes as planned.

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