3 predictions for space tourism in 2022

Space tourism has been in the headlines over the past year, from Richard Branson’s launch over New Mexico to Jeff Bezos’ first flight – then to the second flight with William Shatner and the third flight as well – to Inspiration4 and Yusaku Maezawa’s 12 days aboard the ISS. After literal decades of waiting for space to be open to ordinary citizens (albeit rich and/or famous), 2021 is the year the history books will likely mark the official start of space tourism and greater access. space for all.

So what’s the next step? First flights, leaps and bounds, everything is interesting and makes the headlines, but will space tourism become commonplace in 2022?

It’s probably not based on the economics and timing of rocket launches, but it’s true that space tourism will continue to progress towards maturity as an industry. You probably won’t see prices drop or space hotels anytime soon, but you have to despair that the long-awaited dream of space tourism isn’t quite doomed.

I spoke with Matt Gohd, CEO of ZERO-G – the company that offers microgravity parabolic flight here on earth, and is apparently a bit of a “gateway drug” for would-be space tourists. Here are some predictions about the future of space tourism from this conversation.

No new customers will fly in 2022

Gohd believes the two main players in suborbital space tourism are likely booked until 2022.

“I guess Blue [Origin] is pretty well set for 2022,” Gohd said. “And with Virgo [Galactic] not recovering until Q3 or later with 600-700 people with deposits before anyone can book,” buying a seat and flying this year will be tricky.

Looking further into the future, “if you want to fly with Elon [Musk]there is not much capacity for the next few years, and both Space Perspectives and World View [Enterprises] are planning launches in 2024.”

That said, some of the customers who will be flying in 2022 made deposits 10-15 years ago; if you have the funds to secure your spot and only have to wait 2-3 years, that’s a pretty reasonable situation.

Experiences will reign supreme

Any company capable of delivering an unforgettable space or space experience (in the case of ZERO-G) will experience growth over the coming year and beyond.

“People are becoming more aware of cool experiences,” says Gohd. “The quest for experiences transcends the need for things.” Maybe it’s driven by the performative nature of social media or simply a realization of what really matters after more than two years of living through a pandemic, but this year people are ready and willing to snap a credit card or emptying a savings account for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Our scheduled flights are already filling up, including one that is already full,” Gohd shares as an indication of demand. “It’s the only way to feel what it’s like to be an astronaut,” he said. the Miami Herald.

For many people, this can be the pinnacle of their space tourism experiences – many people who have been lucky enough to experience space tourism through companies like Blue Origin also performed a ZERO-G flight.

Welcome to the Soaring 20s

While 2022 may not look like much from a space tourism perspective, that won’t deter anyone interested in the industry – as an operator or future tourist.

“We are delighted to be where we are, as well as [for] other market players,” says Gohd. “Welcome to the Roaring Twenties.” Maybe high is a better term, all pun intended.

Once Virgin Galactic exhausts its backlog of reservations and Blue Origin publishes flight prices, the reusability and reliability of suborbital space tourism should help bring prices down and hopefully make it accessible to more travellers. Plus, many of us who can never afford a six-figure flight to space will find exciting new alternatives: five-figure balloon rides and microgravity flights that cost between $7,500 and $8,000. per person. That sounds like a lot, but it’s within reach for all of us sticking to those 2022 savings resolutions.

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