A spaceship is slowly orbiting a terrestrial planet, while its crew is using instruments onboard to measure the various parameters of the planet’s atmosphere to determine if it’s hostile or not. Upon determining that the oxygen levels are satisfactory, the ship descends into the atmosphere, giving the crew a hospitable environment to stay in, while they take a break from their voyage. A life and future of this sort is what space tourism will eventually unravel for mankind.
With sophisticated aerospace companies headed by engineers and designers previously employed by NASA, teaming up with rich successful entrepreneurs on projects aimed at setting humanity in the course of leisurely interstellar travel, the future seems to be a radical one. Hybrid rocket engines having polyamide fuel formulation, feathered reentry systems and other newfangled technology assisted by large budgets, have led to the development of deeply innovative space technology. This is unlike traditional liquid air cycle engines and entry systems that require high speeds upon re-entry.
There are multiple advantages to this focused approach towards the advancement in space technology. From space tourism, understanding the origin of life, and getting a better picture of the behavior of galaxies, to utilizing star based energy as fuel and finding other viable habitats for mankind, the applications are numerous. For instance, larger groups of scientists can use the opportunity to study low-orbital areas with ease, helping to better understand the science driving our planet.
The technology used to make these modern private spaceships is cutting-edge. The Space-X Dragon capsule can be reconfigured to carry seven passengers, in the Dragon V-2. Even NASA recently picked Space-X to provide services to the International Space Station. Blue Origin, the commercial space firm owned by Jeff Bezos, obtained FAA approval for their vertical takeoff and landing craft – New Shepard. Blue Origin’s efforts should result in both cargo and human-rated space access. It is up to private companies to build experience in space operational services and space flight to provide commercial space travel services.
Sending unmanned rockets and satellites to outer space changed the very fabric of our daily lives. Similarly, it is conceivable that space travel, as a final frontier, will elevate the technological prowess of mankind. For instance, once commercial space travel becomes a viable option, many private research firms will send their researchers, in larger numbers than possible with government agencies, for research work. No longer will scientific experiments and evidence have to depend on a few players in the game.
The increase in the number of people doing field work will also hold answers on whether mankind can occupy other planets. With both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial factors endangering our existence, space travel can hold the answers to our continued prevalence as a species.
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