The next tourist destination might just be the Moon thanks to the revolutionary programs of SpaceX, the company founded by multi-billion dollar entrepreneur Elon Musk. The latest vehicle produced by the company is intended to send humans "on holiday" in Space.
A ticket to the moon? It's no longer a futuristic perspective! Apparently the first "ticket for the Moon" has already been sold. Billionaire Elon Musk, the mind behind Tesla and Neuralink, presents the latest spacecraft produced by his company SpaceX: Starship. It's a huge 50-meter steel rocket capable of carrying over 150 tons of material into space.
The American Dream?
The creation financed by Musk should be able to travel to and from the moon, and later even to Mars, with a dozen human beings.
But the projects of the American entrepreneur are even more ambitious, almost megalomaniacal. Musk's dream is not limited to space tourism, it goes further, with the dream of establishing human colonies across the galaxy and the beginning of a multiplanetary species.
It doesn't seem so far fetched; so far Musk has achieved all his objectives, even reaching agreements with NASA which, for its part, plans to send the first tourists to the moon by 2024 following the new Artemis program.
Musk explained to the rapt crowd of journalists that the first experimental flight of Starship will take place in the next six months. The planned take-off site for the rocket is the small town of Boca Chica, Texas.
Elon Musk, standing between the two rockets produced by his company, the newborn Starship and the historic Falcon X about to celebrate its eleventh birthday, said with the usual emphasis that the Space Tourism Era has arrived: "The real breakthrough will be to make space trips like normal air travel."
The first space tourists
Musk had already announced triumphantly via Twitter that he had recruited the first "space tourist" in history ready to fly in the atmosphere in 2023. He is the young Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, founder of the online clothing giant Zozotown.
Apparently Maezawa has rented the entire rocket and plans to take a team of eight artists with him to get a portrait. His would be the first tourist experience on the moon, of course Maezawa must undergo extensive physical and psychological training to prepare properly for the mission.
In 2019, talking about space tourism is no longer a utopian ideal, even if it is only available to the one percent. Years ago it was rumored that the first space travellers would be the rich and famous of the entertainment industry, like Leonardo Di Caprio or the now de-coupled Brangelina. In reality, however, the lucky explorers are the magnates of finance and tech.
In the meantime, future lunar colonies are already being planned. According to Dr. Bernard Foing of the International Space Agency, a first colony could be ready by 2030, capable of accommodating about seven people, including technicians and astronauts. The forecasts are to bring at least one thousand people to the Moon by 2050.
In the meantime, future lunar colonies are already being planned. According to Dr Bernard Foing of the International Space Agency, a first colony could be ready by 2030, capable of accommodating about seven people, including technicians and astronauts. The forecasts are to bring at least one thousand people to the Moon by 2050.
However, environmentalists have protested this lunar dream. The nascent space tourism sector is not without criticism, especially in the age of global warming. The main accusation levelled against Elton Musk is that he is pursuing a vain enterprise to the detriment of the planet on which he lives. A journey of only six minutes in space consumes roughly twice as much energy as that of an American family over the course of a year.
The environmental drama our planet is undergoing puts us at a crossroads: do we have to see Space as a possible escape route or as an impossible dream? Space research could, after all, open up the frontiers of new worlds in which to find shelter if, or when, our land becomes arid and inhospitable.