Can You Go to Space? It Depends…

Nikki Diefenbach

Let’s be honest, the current options for getting to space are not for the plebes. It is very doable for the ultra-rich; they’ve actually been taking space flights since the early 2000s. Still, it is fun to imagine the possibilities. Here are a few options for that dream trip to space for the rest of us.

  • Christopher Benek, editor-in-chief for SuperPosition, has written previously here about Space For Humanity, a somewhat mysterious organization that is looking to send up to eight people to space over the next two years. You can try your luck becoming a Citizen Astronaut by submitting an application on their website.
  • Back in the early 2000s,the Russians charged as much as $40 million for a trip to the International Space Station. The price has come down a bit; Virgin Galactic is selling flights for around $250,000 and plans to start commercial flights by the mid-2019, but that is only for sub-orbital spaceflights. That is still a bit pricey though.
  • BlueOrigin will also offer sub-orbital spaceflights this year. If you can nab a job with them quickly they may send you up to space with their employees for free.
  • SpaceX will start flights to the moon by 2020. Although the price tag for a trip to the moon has not been announced yet, it is estimated to be around $35 million. The next person on the moon will most likely be Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa and he’s bringing artists with him. Equalizing access to space for those who could never afford it should be promoted for the good of humanity and it just might be another way to get on board; so brush up on your art skills.
  • The cheapest route so far is to become a government astronaut. The price of the education required is cheaper than the current ticket prices.

Erin Winick, the associate editor of the future of work at MIT Technology Review, says that even though these prices are (ready for the pun?) astronomical, we can compare them to the high price of airline travel when it first began. When there is more competition among space flight companies, the prices will begin to drop. So the last option would be just to wait it out and start saving money for that bucket-list trip to Mars in 2050.

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. If you could go anywhere and price was no issue, where would you go and with whom?

Q2. What is the most expensive trip you have ever taken? Was it your most meaningful trip?

Q3. Why is it a good thing to make space travel accessible to those who would not be able to afford it otherwise?