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13 Things Tourists Should Know Before Traveling to Space, According to Astronauts

We asked the pros for their best tips on handling a first trip to space.

travel in space ne demek

For most of human spaceflight history, those lucky enough to reach the stars were professional astronauts hired and trained by government agencies around the world. But since the early 2000s, when seven intrepid travelers paid millions to spend a few days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), space tourism has begun to take off. We're now on the cusp of a new era of space exploration, with commercial companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin launching spacecraft capable of taking paying travelers beyond the Earth's surface.

We spoke with former NASA astronauts Leroy Chiao and Scott Parazynski to get their tips for first-time spaceflight participants. During his 15 years with NASA, Chiao participated in four missions — three aboard the space shuttle and one to the ISS, in which he served as commander. Parazynski worked at NASA for 17 years, flying five shuttle missions throughout his career. Read on to discover what they think aspiring space tourists need to know.

Your only job on the flight will be to kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

If you're taking a suborbital flight, which is what companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have offered, your ride will be a quick up-and-down to reach space, rather than a full orbit of the Earth. The short journey is relatively easy compared to what professional astronauts experience. For starters, you won't need to worry about flying your spacecraft. That's all up to the spaceflight provider. "You won't have any responsibility other than to enjoy the experience — and not kick anyone else in the head," says Parazynski. "Their obligations on the flight are pretty straightforward."

As such, the training programs for suborbital space tourist experiences are relatively minimal, perhaps only a few days in length at most. "The downside of not having a lot of training is that you don't have the confidence that comes from lots of training," says Parazynski. "Contrast that with the training I had on the space shuttle, where we trained for hundreds and hundreds of hours for launching in space. If something were to go awry, we would know exactly what to do and our hearts wouldn't skip a beat."

So, other than learning to place your complete trust in your spaceflight provider, Parazynski recommends talking to people who have flown before in order to ease any nervousness. Chiao agrees: "The best advice I can give on launch — and it's easy to say, harder to do — is to try to relax and enjoy the whole process," he says. "Pay attention during your training, talk to other people who've been there if you can. And actually, you might be surprised — it's quite calm!"

Make sure you’re physically and mentally fit.

"I think people should treat this as their Olympics or Super Bowl. This is a really big life experience, and though you don't need to be an Olympic athlete or a Super Bowl champion to fly in space, it helps to be fit," says Parazynski. After all, your body will be experiencing quite a range of new sensations during your spaceflight."

But it's not just about physical fitness — mental fitness is key, too. "I think through fitness comes mental acuity as well," says Parazynski. "The more you can be engaged in the experience, the more you'll remember of it — it'll be more impactful to you."

The G-forces experienced on launch and reentry are not as intense as you might expect.

If you've ever watched a livestream of an astronaut launch, caught any Hollywood flick about space travel, or ridden Mission: Space at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park, you know that during launch, astronauts get crushed back into their seats. (And, actually, during reentry, too!) They're experiencing strong G-forces, or a sensation of weight felt during acceleration. It's the same feeling you get when you speed up quickly in a car or zoom through a loop or a sharp curve on a roller coaster, but during a rocket launch, those forces are stronger and more sustained. While the experience might seem a little terrifying, the pros say it's quite manageable.

"The G-forces aren't nearly as bad as they show in the movies," says Chiao. "If you're good enough to be given medical approval to go on a trip like this, you're not going to have any problems handling the G-forces." He also notes that you'll likely go through centrifugal runs during your training to prep for the sensation — you'll be strapped into a spinning machine that lets you experience strong G-forces, just like that spinning amusement park ride where you're pressed against the wall and the floor drops.

But to make launch and reentry as comfortable on your body as possible, you'll want to physically relax your muscles so you don't fight against the G-forces. "If you relax and let your body sink into the launch couch, you're going to tolerate it much better," says Chiao. "If you're rigid, that's where you might hurt yourself. And make sure your limbs and arms are inside of the couch."

To prep for weightlessness, you should book a zero-gravity flight.

While it takes quite a bit of effort (and time and money) to get into space to experience weightlessness, you can actually experience the sensation right here on Earth — or rather, just slightly above it. All you need to do is book a zero-gravity flight , where a plane flies in a series of parabolas (or arch-like shapes) during which passengers experience simulated weightlessness through free fall.

It's physically the same as skydiving or even riding a roller coaster, but in those two instances, your senses tell you you're actually falling. "When you're in a zero-G airplane, the airplane is falling at the same rate you are, so you're floating inside the airplane," says Chiao. "That's what it's like in a spacecraft when you get up into space and the engines cut off."

Through commercial companies like the Zero Gravity Corporation , anyone who can spare the cost of a ticket can experience weightlessness — and anyone who's planning on making a trip to space should definitely give it a go. "If they have the means, they should get on a zero-G flight before they go on a suborbital flight," says Parazynski. "It would take some of the mystery out of 'what am I going to feel like?' and 'how do I move?'"

Learning how to scuba dive is good weightlessness training, too.

While being underwater isn't exactly like floating in space, it's a pretty good way to practice moving around in a weightless environment. In fact, NASA even has a life-sized replica of the ISS set inside a giant pool, so astronauts can train for spacewalks underwater.

"Moving in weightlessness comes to you very quickly when you spend some time underwater," says Parazynski. "Get neutrally buoyant underwater and very gently try and move yourself along the ocean floor or bottom of your pool. It doesn't take a lot of force, but it does take a lot of thought."

Come up with a game plan for your few minutes in space.

On suborbital flights, you're only going to have a few minutes in weightlessness, so you should plan exactly how you want to spend your time up there. Figure out if you'd like to bring a memento like a family photo or college pennant for a fun picture. (U.S. Naval Academy graduates and former astronauts Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford famously put a "Beat Army" sign in the window of their Gemini VI spacecraft, so there's a long tradition of this.) Decide in advance if you want to attempt what spaceflight veterans call "stupid astronaut tricks," like flips or spins. But most importantly, budget time to look out the window.

"The most important thing I would tell future astronauts is to savor the view out the window," says Parazynski. "It's, for lack of a better term, a God's-eye view, and so few people have ever had a chance to see it. It's really a beautiful thing to be hovering in space and looking down at your planet."

Don’t worry about taking your own photos.

"As far as taking photographs, I don't know that I would recommend it," says Chiao. "You're not going to be very good at it, first of all, because it takes a little bit of practice to get used to zero-G. Don't waste that time taking photos. Get your memories, look out those windows, and enjoy the whole experience of being weightless." Plus, given the price tag of these spaceflights, we're pretty sure that your operator will provide you with photos and videos of your journey anyway.

When you get into zero gravity, you might feel a little dizzy.

The body functions a bit differently when you remove gravity from the equation for a sustained period of time, and side effects may include dizziness and nausea. "You're going to feel full-headed because there's no longer gravity pulling fluid down into your legs," says Chiao. "And so all that fluid comes up into your torso, and you can feel it right away. It feels kind of like you're standing on your head."

But the good news is, on suborbital flights you might be able to avoid the worst of it. "The adrenaline and excitement are going to make you do OK at first, and by the time you might start feeling bad, it's time to strap back in and come back down," says Chiao.

If you’re spending a few days in space, be prepared for some bumps and bruises.

On a suborbital flight, you won't have a ton of time in space, so you won't really have to worry about acclimating to zero gravity. However, some private spaceflight companies are looking to send their clients up into orbit for longer stays and there are even talks of a space hotel within Voyager Station . If you're going to spend a few days or even a few weeks up in space, you're probably going to bump your head more than once, no matter how much you've trained for the experience.

"It's really funny watching rookie astronauts the first day or two up on a mission," says Parazynski. "We called them the bull in a china shop. They push off with full force and they crack their skull or bang their knee."

You’re also going to make a mess.

Doing routine tasks like brushing your teeth (you can't just spit your toothpaste into a sink), clipping your fingernails (you don't want them floating off into your space station), and going to the bathroom (have you ever thought about how to use a toilet without gravity?) are all very different experiences in weightlessness. Inevitably, you might have a few mishaps early on in your trip.

"Just sitting down for a meal, you put your fork down, and it's gone in 30 seconds," says Parazynski. "You may find it two days later in the cabin air cleaner because that's where the air currents have taken it." Luckily, a lost fork is an easy mess to clean up — and the situation can be prevented by tethering it down. Other messes are a different story.

"As far as using the restroom, that's what you need to pay attention to during your training. The toilet is not particularly simple and you have to be careful," says Chiao. (In case you were wondering, space toilets use airflow to guide things where they're supposed to go.) "But be prepared to make some messes," says Chiao. "And everybody has to clean up their own mess."

If you’re going to do a spacewalk, the stakes are much higher for you and your crew.

If you want to zip around space with a jetpack like George Clooney in "Gravity," sorry, but chances are that's not going to happen any time soon. Most private astronauts will be safely tucked inside their craft for the duration of their flight.

Unlike suborbital flights, future orbital flights with a spacewalk will require extensive training, given that spacewalks are inherently more dangerous than simply riding in a vessel. "If you're careless with your tethers and you float off into the void, there's not a whole lot anyone can come do for you," says Parazynski. It's possible that a crewmate may be able to head out to rescue you, but then you're endangering their life as well. "It's paramount for a spacewalker to think not just about their own health and well-being and their experience, but also that of their crewmates," he says.

If you’re in a capsule, be prepared for a bumpy landing.

While the only way up to space is by rocket, there are two ways to come back down: via a winged vehicle, like the space shuttle or Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, or a capsule, like Apollo, Soyuz, and Blue Origin's New Shepard. The experiences are quite different, as winged vehicles land like an airplane on a runway, whereas capsules descend beneath parachutes onto land or water. While both experience a range of G-forces during reentry, capsules have a bit of a rougher ride, particularly at the very end.

"When the parachute comes out, you can expect to get jostled around a fair amount, so that can be disorienting," says Chiao. "Then, whether you're hitting the water or the ground, you're gonna get a good bump. There are shock-absorbing mechanisms, of course, that make it not too big a deal. But on Soyuz, you smack the ground pretty darn hard. It was kind of surprising!"

It’ll be worth every penny.

Sure, it's going to cost a small fortune to go into space as a tourist — for now, that's somewhere in the ballpark of several hundred thousand dollars for a suborbital flight and millions of dollars for longer-duration orbital stays. But ask any astronaut, and they're sure to tell you it'll be worth the investment.

"What I would tell prospective astronauts is that it's going to change their lives forever," says Parazynski. "It's a perspective that can't be captured in emotion on film. Even in 3D IMAX, there's no way to capture the way it's going to make you feel, the connectedness you feel to planet Earth, and the awe you have when you look out into the universe."

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Everything you need to know about space travel (almost)

We're a long way from home...

Paul Parsons

When did we first start exploring space?

The first human-made object to go into space was a German V2 missile , launched on a test flight in 1942. Although uncrewed, it reached an altitude of 189km (117 miles).

Former Nazi rocket scientists were later recruited by both America and Russia (often at gunpoint in the latter case), where they were instrumental in developing Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) – rockets capable of carrying nuclear weapons from one side of the planet to the other.

A captured German V-2 rocket, the world’s first guided missile, launched at the US Army testing base at White Sands, in New Mexico © Getty Images

It was these super-missiles that formed the basis for the space programmes of both post-war superpowers. As it happened, Russia was the first to reach Earth orbit, when it launched the uncrewed Sputnik 1 in October 1957, followed a month later by Sputnik 2, carrying the dog Laika – the first live animal in space.

The USA sent its first uncrewed satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit soon after, in January 1958. A slew of robotic spaceflights followed, from both sides of the Atlantic, before Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin piloted Vostok 1 into orbit on 12 April 1961, to become the first human being in space . And from there the space race proper began, culminating in Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first people to walk on the Moon as part of NASA's Apollo programme .

Why is space travel important?

Space exploration is the future. It satisfies the human urge to explore and to travel, and in the years and decades to come it could even provide our species with new places to call home – especially relevant now, as Earth becomes increasingly crowded .

Extending our reach into space is also necessary for the advancement of science. Space telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and probes to the distant worlds of the Solar System are continually updating, and occasionally revolutionising, our understanding of astronomy and physics.

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But there are also some very practical reasons, such as mining asteroids for materials that are extremely rare here on Earth.

One example is the huge reserve of the chemical isotope helium-3 thought to be locked away in the soil on the surface of the Moon . This isotope is a potential fuel for future nuclear fusion reactors – power stations that tap into the same source of energy as the Sun. Unlike other fusion fuels, helium-3 gives off no hard-to-contain and deadly neutron radiation.

However, for this to happen the first challenge to overcome is how to build a base on the Moon. In 2019, China's Chang’e 4 mission marked the beginning of a new space race to conquer the Moon, signalling their intent to build a permanent lunar base , while the NASA Artemis mission plans to build a space station, called Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway , providing a platform to ferry astronauts to the Moon's surface.

Could humans travel into interstellar space and how would we get there?

It’s entirely feasible that human explorers will visit the furthest reaches of our Solar System. The stars, however, are another matter. Interstellar space is so vast that it takes light – the fastest thing we know of in the Universe – years, centuries and millennia to traverse it. Faster-than-light travel may be possible one day, but is unlikely to become a reality in our lifetimes.

It’s not impossible that humans might one day cross this cosmic gulf, though it won’t be easy. The combustion-powered rocket engines of today certainly aren’t up to the job – they just don’t use fuel efficiently enough. Instead, interstellar spacecraft may create a rocket-like propulsion jet using electric and magnetic fields. This so-called ‘ ion drive ’ technology has already been tested aboard uncrewed Solar System probes.

Star Trek's USS Enterprise, the iconic warp-capable ship © Alamy

Another possibility is to push spacecraft off towards the stars using the light from a high-powered laser . A consortium of scientists calling themselves Breakthrough Starshot is already planning to send a flotilla of tiny robotic probes to our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, using just this method.

Though whether human astronauts could survive such punishing acceleration, or the decades-long journey through deep space, remains to be seen.

How do we benefit from space exploration?

Pushing forward the frontiers of science is the stated goal of many space missions . But even the development of space travel technology itself can lead to unintended yet beneficial ‘spin-off’ technologies with some very down-to-earth applications.

Notable spin-offs from the US space programme, NASA, include memory foam mattresses, artificial hearts, and the lubricant spray WD-40. Doubtless, there are many more to come.

Read more about space exploration:

  • The next giant leaps: The UK missions getting us to the Moon
  • Move over, Mars: why we should look further afield for future human colonies
  • Everything you need to know about the Voyager mission
  • 6 out-of-this-world experiments recreating space on Earth

Space exploration also instils a sense of wonder, it reminds us that there are issues beyond our humdrum planet and its petty squabbles, and without doubt it helps to inspire each new generation of young scientists. It’s also an insurance policy. We’re now all too aware that global calamities can and do happen – for instance, climate change and the giant asteroid that smashed into the Earth 65 million years ago, leading to the total extinction of the dinosaurs .

The lesson for the human species is that we keep all our eggs in one basket at our peril. On the other hand, a healthy space programme, and the means to travel to other worlds, gives us an out.

Is space travel dangerous?

In short, yes – very. Reaching orbit means accelerating up to around 28,000kph (17,000mph, or 22 times the speed of sound ). If anything goes wrong at that speed, it’s seldom good news.

Then there’s the growing cloud of space junk to contend with in Earth's orbit – defunct satellites, discarded rocket stages and other detritus – all moving just as fast. A five-gram bolt hitting at orbital speed packs as much energy as a 200kg weight dropped from the top of an 18-storey building.

Sandra Bullock repairs the Hubble Telescope with George Clooney in Gravity © Warner Brothers

And getting to space is just the start of the danger. The principal hazard once there is cancer-producing radiation – the typical dose from one day in space is equivalent to what you’d receive over an entire year back on Earth, thanks to the planet’s atmosphere and protective magnetic field.

Add to that the icy cold airless vacuum , the need to bring all your own food and water, plus the effects of long-duration weightlessness on bone density, the brain and muscular condition – including that of the heart – and it soon becomes clear that venturing into space really isn’t for the faint-hearted.

When will space travel be available to everyone?

It’s already happening – that is, assuming your pockets are deep enough. The first self-funded ‘space tourist’ was US businessman Dennis Tito, who in 2001 spent a week aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for the cool sum of $20m (£15m).

Virgin Galactic has long been promising to take customers on short sub-orbital hops into space – where passengers get to experience rocket propulsion and several minutes of weightlessness, before gliding back to a runway landing on Earth, all for $250k (£190k). In late July 2020, the company unveiled the finished cabin in its SpaceShipTwo vehicle, suggesting that commercial spaceflights may begin shortly.

SpaceX expect that one day their Starship could carry passengers to the Moon © SpaceX/Flickr

Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s SpaceX , which in May 2020 became the first private company to launch a human crew to Earth orbit aboard the Crew Dragon , plans to offer stays on the ISS for $35k (£27k) per night. SpaceX is now prototyping its huge Starship vehicle , which is designed to take 100 passengers from Earth to as far afield as Mars for around $20k (£15k) per head. Musk stated in January that he hoped to be operating 1,000 Starships by 2050.

10 Short Lessons in Space Travel by Paul Parsons is out now (£9.99, Michael O'Mara)

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Finding the Universe

Travel tales, photography and a dash of humor

Space Shuttle simulator Space Camp USA

Space Tourism: How to Visit Space as a Tourist

Last updated: August 28, 2023 . Written by Laurence Norah - 4 Comments

Despite the name of this blog, I have been distressingly earth bound for all of my years thus far. Given recent developments in space exploration technology though, hope is not yet lost for the dream of going into space as a tourist – without having to shell out the millions of dollars that past tourists have paid!

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few things. I’m going to cover where space travel & exploration is today.

I’m going to talk about what options we have now, and may have in the future, for getting into space as a tourist. And I’m also going to cover a few ways those of us stuck on Earth without access to a giant pile of cash can still get our space fix around the world!

The State of Space Travel as a Tourist in 2023

Spaceship balloon by Laurence Norah

Huge strides are happening right now in space exploration, particularly with private companies looking at opening up space to your average person. Admittedly, right now, space tourism isn’t exactly accessible.

Up to 2009, only 7 people made it into space as tourists, all travelling with the Russian Space Agency, and all paying in excess of USD $20 million.

These weren’t exactly hop-on hop-off trips either, with the participants undergoing months of training, and many of them actively running their own experiments in space. So to call them space tourists is perhaps a bit of a misnomer.

However, things have now changed, and trips into space are becoming more affordable. Admittedly, they aren’t exactly “budget”, but they are less than $20 million a go.

So what’s changed?

Well, put simply, private investment. Whilst massive government organisations like NASA , the Russian Space Agency and the European Space Agency are always researching and expanding their space exploration efforts, their focus isn’t exactly on getting folks like you and me into space – at least not in the near term. Their focus is on long term scientifically focused exploration missions, with perhaps the most exciting being NASA’s Journey to Mars .

Other organisations though, see the potential for space based tourism as a way to generate funds and publicity for their projects. There are three main players in the space tourism business right now – Virgin Galactic , SpaceX and Blue Origin .

Let’s take a look at the main players with whom you have a real chance of getting into space within the next few years.

How to Go To Space As A Tourist

Other than flagging down a passing UFO Ford Prefect style, or signing up to be an astronaut with a government agency, getting into space is a bit tricky. But that’s all changing, and these are the companies with whom you are most likely to be able to travel into space.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History%252C Alamogordo by Laurence Norah

1. Virgin Galactic

Part of the Virgin Group headed up by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic currently offers sub-orbital flights to paying passengers aboard their SpaceShipTwo and SpaceShipThree craft.

Sub-orbital means that you’re not high enough to actually orbit the earth, but as the goal you do pass the 100km line that marks the edge of space, you will technically be in space, and also experience weightlessness. Hurrah!

The good news is that as of June 2023, commercial space flights have actually commenced. Trips are scheduled to go monthly, and you can now buy tickets for a voyage into space with Virgin Galactic. They are currently on sale for $450,000.

Admittedly, $450,000 USD isn’t exactly small change, but it’s a lot less expensive than the $20 million that previous space travellers have paid. For your money, you get three days of training at Spaceport America in New Mexico, a flight into space, a somewhat incredible view and a period of weightlessness. Not too bad.

2. Blue Origin

Owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin is a private company which initially appeared to be focusing on sub-orbital flight, much like Virgin Galactic.

Unlike Virgin Galactic though, which uses a combination of a normal plane and a rocket plane to achieve the necessary space altitude, Blue Origin are using more conventional rocket technology, with a focus on re-usable components that cut the cost of launches.

Other than the spacecraft, the experience is largely the same – a sub-orbital flight that comprises a few days of training in Texas, a journey lasting around 11 minutes to up beyond the 100km line, weightlessness and some incredible views.

The technology to do this will look familiar to any fans of existing space flight technologies, including the capsule that returns to Earth by parachute, meaning that there are fewer technical hurdles to overcome.

As of 2021, flights have commenced on the New Shepherd, with Jeff Bezos being the first into space. The ticket for the first commercially available seat in the July 2021 launch was auctioned off for a cool $28 million.

Since that launch, there have been a number of flights with paying customers.

Regular pricing isn’t set, although it’s currently rumored to be around $1 million per seat. A timeframe for general availability of commercial flights isn’t yet known. You can sign up to be kept informed and updated however.

Perhaps even more excitingly than the New Shepherd program is its successor – the New Glenn program. This should offer longer duration, possibly even orbital flights, although details are currently sparse on the ground, with operations aimed to launch in late 2024. We do know however that priority on these trips will be given to New Shepherd customers.

Last in our trio of serious contenders for firms that will take your money and send you into space in the next few years is SpaceX .

SpaceX is owned by Elon Musk, who is particularly famous for being the CEO and co-founder of Tesla Inc, the electric car and battery manufacturer, amongst other things.

SpaceX largely focuses on commercial launch capabilities, with a particular focus on reusable rocket technologies that bring down the cost of putting payloads into orbit.

They’ve been hugely successful in this field, with multiple achievements, including being the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.

They were also the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, and have since flown many missions to the ISS.

Whilst the majority of their work is on commercial and government contracts for putting things like satellites into orbit, some recent developments have put SpaceX firmly on the space tourism map.

First, in 2017 they announced that they had been contracted by two private individuals who want to go on a trip around the moon. This was originally due to launch in 2018, but has been postponed until at least 2024. It will be by far the most ambitious space tourism endeavor to date by any company, and you can read more about the project here .

SpaceX are also starting to sell tickets on their Crew Dragon capsule, which is the launch system NASA is using to shuttle astronauts to the ISS. These are not generally available, but a 3-day mission consisting entirely of tourists took place in 2021, with further missions expected. These are still priced in the tens of millions of dollars though, so don’t bank on these becoming affordable for a while to come.

Next, SpaceX is actively working on technology to colonise Mars, with a lofty goal of setting up a permanent colony on the red planet, home to over a million people, within the next 100 years.

Whilst the current estimate of cost for such a ride is in the region of $10 billion USD per person, SpaceX is aiming to bring that down to $100,000 through the development of their Interplanetary Transport System . This won’t happen in the near-term, but by the end of the century tourism to Mars might be a real possibility, with lunar and earth-orbital flights the norm by then.

4. Other Contenders

So those are the main players who, in my opinion, have the most realistic chances of taking you to space in the coming decade. But they aren’t the only players in the space tourism arena! Here are a few others to be aware of who might give you a chance of getting off Planet Earth.

Bigelow Aerospace: Bigelow Aerospace are actually a pretty major name when it comes to space technology, and if you ever happen to find yourself in a hotel on the moon or floating around the Earth, it’s likely going to be inside one of their inflatable habitats.

This isn’t theoretical either, they’ve got an inflatable capsule attached to the International Space Station already undergoing feasibility testing. Owner Robert Bigelow made his fortune in hotels, and he sees no reason why we can’t have them in space too.

Space Perspective: Space Perspective are taking a slightly different approach to everyone else, in that their route to space is to fly passengers 100,000ft above the ground in capsule carried aloft by a gigantic hydrogen filled balloon.

Ok, so 100,000ft isn’t exactly space, but it is high enough to see the curvature of the earth. It’s likely to be a more sedate and relaxed experience as well, compared to firing yourself into space on some sort of rocket at least. And whilst experiencing zero-gee isn’t going to be on the cards, you should be able to enjoy the views from the wraparound windows whilst enjoying a tipple from the on-board bar!

Tickets for 2024 flights have already sold out, but you can book for 2025 at a cost of $125,000 per person.

Boeing: Boeing are currently under contract with NASA to build a crew transport vehicle that would be compatible with a number of rocket systems, primarily for the purpose of shuttling astronauts to the ISS. It was originally due to start those flights in late 2018. However, testing did not start until late 2019, and the current timetable for crewed flights is now 2023.

As part of their contract, this CST-100 Starliner was specified to include one seat specifically for the purposes of space tourism , allowing one passenger to just tag along for the ride as it were. For a price, naturally. That price is currently unknown, although the original goal was to have it price competitive with the Russian Space Agency, so don’t expect it to come under the tens of millions mark!

Mars One: Mars One was an organisation with a goal of establishing a permanent human colony on Mars by the year 2035. Announced in 2012, it encouraged members of the public to sign up for the one-way mission, which resulted in over 200,000 applicants. That was whittled down to 100, and then a final 24 candidates.

Unfortunately, the project was dogged by criticism, particularly around the technical and financial feasibility of the plan. Finally, Mars One entered administration in 2019.

Moonlit Bisti Badlands New Mexico by Laurence Norah

The Best Space Sights and Activities on Earth

Ok, so based on all the above, you’re probably realising that space is still a pretty tough place to get to right now, and even over the next few years it’s still going to be pretty darn expensive for a fairly brief jaunt.

Don’t fret though. Planet Earth is a pretty cool place, and there are a lot of space-related activities you can take part in without re-mortgaging your house and strapping yourself to a rocket.

Here are a few places you can learn about space and space travel in the meantime! Let’s look at these.

1. Active Spaceports

Whilst you might not get into space right now, you can still visit a spaceport and dream of the future! I’ve picked three spaceports for you to think about visiting.

Spaceport America%252C New Mexico by Laurence Norah

Spaceport America, USA. Set in the high New Mexican desert, Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, meaning it’s designed for commercial users. Yes, people like you and me. It’s the home base of Virgin Galactic, and is where that company will be operating from when they finally launch their space tourism flights. SpaceX also conduct some of their testing here. Unfortunately, you still can’t board a space trip here, but it’s a worthwhile place to visit, if only to get a tantalising glimpse of a possible future.

Kennedy Space Center, USA. Found in Florida, Kennedy Space Center is the main launch pad for NASA’s operations, and is where Apollo and Space shuttle launches took place. It’s a massive facility, spanning 144,000 acres. There’s a visitor centre on site, where you can learn all about NASA and it’s space operations, see an actual space shuttle and even experience a simulated space shuttle launch. Kennedy Space Center is still very much an active launch site, and you can also come here to watch rockets blast off into space – see their website for the launch schedule .

Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. One of the world’s most famous spaceports, and certainly the oldest and largest, Baikonur Cosmodrome is where the majority of Russia’s space program has operated from, including the first man into space, Yuri Gagarin. It’s still very active, and you can in theory visit, however prices are steep for a one day tour ($700+), and can only be arranged via a specialist tour operator in a complex process that needs to be booked weeks in advance.

2. Space Museums

As well as active space ports, there are a lot of museums around the world dedicated to sharing man’s activities in space. Here are a few of the best.

New Mexico Space Museum by Laurence Norah

Space Center Houston, USA. The official visitor centre for NASA’s center for human spaceflight activities, Space Center Houston is an excellent place to come and learn all about NASA’s efforts around getting people into space. It has a number of artifacts from our explorations to date, including a lunar module replica and various actual capsules that have been into space. Tip – if you’re visiting a few sights in Houston, you can save money by investing in a CityPASS card which will get you into the Space Center as well as a number of other attractions in the city.

New Mexico Museum of Space History, USA. Found in Alamogordo in southern New Mexico, the five storey New Mexico Museum of Space History is full of information about man’s efforts to get into space, with everything from information on early rocket technology through to more modern day exhibits including a space shuttle landing simulator. It’s also home to the International Hall of Space Fame, a planetarium, and offers fantastic views across the White Sands National Monument.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum , USA . Found in Washington, D.C., this enormous museum is home to the world’s largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world, including the Apollo 11 module and clothing worn by astronauts. With over 60,000 objects on display, you won’t run out of things to look at!

The National Space Centre, UK. Both a museum and an educational resource, the National Space Center in Leicester, UK, is home to six interactive galleries and the UK’s largest planetarium. A highlight though is the 42 metre high Rocket Tower , which houses a number of upright rockets, really giving you a feel for the enormity of these machines.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Found in Huntsville, Alabama, right next door to NASA Marshall. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center has loads of information on the history of space flight, including two full size Saturn V rockets! This is also where you can attend Space Camp , a hands-on multi day training program for all ages, which will take you through a range of training similar to that which real astronauts do!

3. Space Themed Sights

We may be currently fairly stuck on the planet, but that doesn’t mean we’re not still hurtling through space, a small rock in a vast galaxy. Here are a few ways to help remind ourselves that there’s more out there than our horizon.

Wolfe Creek Meteor Crater by Laurence Norah

Meteor Craters. On our journey through space we regularly bump into errant lumps of space debris – around 100 tons a day in fact. Most often these lumps are so small (dust-specks really) that they just burn up in our atmosphere, creating beautiful shooting stars. However, anything larger than a marble has a chance of making to earth, although there are a lot of factors at work.

According to NASA , it’s the lumps that are around the size of a football field and up that make the most impact, and one of these hits us every couple of thousand of years. They can cause significant damage and leave a lasting impact. Two worth mentioning that you can visit are the aptly named “ Meteor Crater ” in Arizona, USA, and the Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater in Western Australia. Both of these are around a kilometre in diameter, meaning you can see the whole structure with the naked eye and really get a feel for the force required to create such a hole. Of course you can also find smaller ones all over the world.

Star Gazing. You might not be able to get to the stars, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate them. I always find that just lying back and staring into the vastness of space from a really dark location is a very powerful experience. You need to be somewhere far away from light pollution to get the best views of the night sky – there are dark sky preserves (and even festivals !) where you can get a great view, otherwise, head as far away from the lights as you can and just look up.

4. Giant Telescopes

How about if you can’t get into space, you try just looking at it through a really big magnifying glass and pretend you’re there? It might be as close as you can currently get to space for free, whilst also being wowed by humanities technological accomplishments. Below are four locations around the world where you can learn all about the art of looking into space. Of course, there are many more sites around the world and you can find a list of some of the major telescopes here although not all can be visited by the public.

Very large array New Mexico by Laurence Norah

The Very Large Array, USA. Far out in the New Mexico wilderness, the Very Large Array is one of the world’s largest and most impressive radio telescopes. Unlike an optical telescope, which look at visible light waves, a radio telescope looks at radio waves, and from that we can learn all sorts of things from how black holes are formed through to the creation of the universe itself. These radio waves require a very large telescope, which is why the VLA is actually made up of 27 dishes, which work together to capture radio waves. There’s a small visitor centre and self-guided walking trail, and there are guided tours on the first Saturday of the month. See the official website for more details.

Jodrell Bank, UK. If you’re in the UK , then a trip to Jodrell Bank is a good option for viewing impressively large radio telescopes. In fact, Jodrell Bank is home to the world’s third largest steerable radio telescope, as well as a number of other active telescopes. There’s a visitor centre where you can learn all about the telescopes, and all sorts of other space-related things.

The Very Large Telescope, Chile. Way up high in the mountains of Chile is the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory – the aptly named “ Very Large Telescope ”. Operated by the European Southern Observatory, this is the most impressive optical instrument in the world to date, consisting of four main mirrors that are over eight meters in diameter, as well as four 1.8m diameter mirrors. These work together to create a final image, and the telescope is powerful enough that it would be able to make out a cars headlights on the moon. It’s fairly remote, what with it being on a mountain top in Chile, but you can visit – check here for more information on tours.

Green Bank Observatory, USA – At time of writing, Green Bank Observatory is home to the worlds largest steerable radio telescope, the Green Bank Telescope. Constructed in 2001, it’s one of the newest US telescopes, and with a total collecting area of 2.3 acres, is certainly impressive to behold. You can take a tour of the observatory, and there are also weekly and monthly events at the site.

5. Extra-terrestrial spots

If you’re really desperate to get off planet, you might want to frequent a location which has a history of extra-terrestrial activity such as UFO sightings. Whilst E.T. is yet to make formal contact, who knows, you might get lucky and have the chance to hop on a passing spaceship!

Jess Roswell by Laurence Norah

  Roswell, USA. If you want to learn about aliens, then the town of Roswell in New Mexico has definitely got to be on your list. It became famous as the alleged site of a huge government cover-up of a supposed alien spaceship crash at a nearby ranch property, and the town has since embraced it’s position as the world’s most famous UFO hotspot. There are a number of alien themed attractions here – we’d recommend visiting the Roswell UFO museum as a good starting point.

El Enladrillado, Chile. Central Chile is well known as a UFO spotting hotzone. So much so in fact, that the country’s national tourism board established a UFO trail, a 30km long designated trail in the Andes mountains that centres around the town of San Clemente. This is definitely a good place to come to spot UFO’s, although the national tourism authority is keen to stress that a sighting isn’t guaranteed.

Nullabor Plain, Australia. When I was travelling in Australia, I had a memorable evening out in the outback on the vast Nullabor Plain with a chap who was convinced he was regularly visited by aliens. He might have been on to something of course, with this region of Australia being particularly famous for UFO sightings. And if you don’t see a UFO, fear not, the star gazing here is pretty epic too!

HR Giger Museum, Switzerland. If you prefer your aliens of the fantastical science fiction type, then a visit to the HR Giger museum in Gruyères, Switzerland, should definitely be on your list. It’s home a large collection of works by Swiss artists HR Giger, who famously created the monsters from the sci-fi classic horror movie Alien (and its sequels). Definitely one for the sci-fi fans.

Further Reading for your Space Trip

Well, that was a lot about space. Hopefully you’ve learnt a bit about your options for getting into space as a tourist, as well as some slightly more cost-effective ways to get your space fix on! Here are a few resources that you might find useful.

  • Our favourite sights along the New Mexico Space Trail , USA. Plus a guide to attending the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta if you’re in New Mexico.
  • Our guide to visiting Jasper National Park for their annual Dark Sky Festival
  • A guide to attending Space Camp USA , as well as visiting the U.S Space and Rocket Center
  • Official websites for Virgin Galactic , Blue Origin and SpaceX , for when you’ve saved up enough for that ticket to space
  • The NASA Instagram feed , for mind blowing space images
  • John Glenn’s memoir, to give you an insight into what it was like to be the first American to orbit the earth.
  • Chris Hadfield’s book “ An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth ”, helping you understand how to make the impossible a reality, which seems like a good place to end this post!

G-Force simulator by Laurence Norah

Well, that was a lot to write about space travel and space tourism! We’re not quite there yet, but with the pace of developments I see no reason why, in the coming years and decades, that I won’t finally be able to realise my dream of heading up into space for real. Let me know in the comments if heading into space is a dream of yours!

Everything you need to know about how to get into space as a tourist, as well as details of the top earth-bound space-based attractions around the world!

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Lynn Magnuson says

17th February 2024 at 8:16 am

Traveling into space is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a child. I remember sitting in class and I think it was the third grade and watching Alan Shepard blast off. I knew at that point that someday I wanted to do the same thing. It hasn’t happened yet, but as time goes by the chance to do so, becomes more and more a possibility. I hope someday I do get the chance.

I love your article. Very well written and very informative. Keep up the great writing. That’s another thing I share a passion for. Writing

Laurence Norah says

20th February 2024 at 1:45 am

I’m right there with you! I really hope you get the chance to get into space some day soon. It’s definitely getting closer as a possibility 🙂

Safe travels, be they earthbound or not!

roshmand says

2nd July 2023 at 6:57 pm

amazing poat. thanks

4th July 2023 at 9:39 am

thank you very much 🙂

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space travel

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English [ edit ]

Noun [ edit ].

space travel ( uncountable )

  • travel through or into space

Translations [ edit ]

References [ edit ].

  • “ space travel ”, in Lexico , Dictionary.com ; Oxford University Press , 2019–2022 .

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"I can close my eyes now and see the view clearly, vividly. That stays with you a lifetime. That changes you." Jeff Hoffman Former NASA astronaut, professor of aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Space Perspective Senior Technical Advisor.

Cambridge Dictionary

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İngilizcede travel 'ın anlamı

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travel verb ( MAKE JOURNEY )

  • I like to travel but, then again, I'm very fond of my home .
  • It's often quicker to travel across country and avoid the major roads altogether .
  • Passengers without proper documentation will not be allowed to travel.
  • The elderly travel free on public transport .
  • We like to travel in the autumn when there are fewer tourists .
  • The tragedy is that cultures don't always travel well, and few immigrant groups can sustain their culture over the long term .
  • around Robin Hood's barn idiom
  • communication
  • public transport
  • super-commuting
  • transoceanic
  • well travelled

Konuda ayrıca ilgili kelimeleri, ifadeleri ve eşanlamlıları da bulabilirsiniz:

travel verb ( MOVE )

  • The objects travel in elliptical orbits .
  • In 1947, a pilot flying over the Cascades saw nine metallic flying objects traveling at an estimated 1,200 miles per hour .
  • The elevator traveled smoothly upward .
  • White light separates out into its component wavelengths when traveling through a prism .
  • As the material travels through the winding machine , excess liquid is squeezed out by rollers .
  • Lead dust travels easily from hands to mouth and can't be seen .
  • body English
  • kinetic energy
  • kinetically
  • repair to somewhere

travel verb ( BREAK RULE )

  • foul trouble
  • free-throw lane
  • free-throw line
  • full-court press
  • run-and-gun

travel noun ( ACTIVITY )

  • They offer a 10 percent discount on rail travel for students .
  • The price includes travel and accommodation but meals are extra .
  • His work provided him with the opportunity for a lot of foreign travel.
  • The popular myth is that air travel is more dangerous than travel by car or bus .
  • Passes are available for one month's unlimited travel within Europe .
  • break-journey
  • circumnavigation

travel noun ( MOVEMENT OF OBJECT )

  • It can be difficult to predict the travel of smoke from smouldering fires .
  • The travel of the bullets and blood spatter showed that he was lying on the ground on his side when he was shot .
  • This seemed to prove that light has a finite speed of travel.
  • Striking the ball when the clubhead is already past the lowest point of its travel gives a slight overspin.
  • The actuator then rotates its output shaft to the extremes of its travel.
  • bring someone on
  • non-competitor
  • park the bus idiom
  • play big idiom
  • step/move up a gear idiom

travel | Amerikan İngilizcesi Sözlüğü

Travel | i̇ş i̇ngilizcesi, travel örnekleri, travel ile eşdizimler.

Bunlar, çoğunlukla travel ile kombinasyon halinde kullanılan sözcüklerdir.

Daha fazla örnek görmek için bir eşdizime tıklayın

travel in çevirisi

Hızlı ve ücretsiz çeviri alın!


Günün Kelimesi

ride off into the sunset

to begin a new, happy life at the end of a story

Searching out and tracking down: talking about finding or discovering things

Searching out and tracking down: talking about finding or discovering things

travel in space ne demek

Yeni Kelimeler

Şunlarla daha fazla bilgi edinin: Plus

  • Yeni ve Önerilen {{#preferredDictionaries}} {{name}} {{/preferredDictionaries}}
  • Tanımlar Doğal yazılı ve sözlü İngilizce'ye dair anlaşılır açıklamalar İngilizce Yabancılar İçin Sözlük Temel İngiliz İngilizcesi Temel Amerikan İngilizcesi
  • Dil bilgisi ve eş anlamlılar sözlüğü Doğal yazılı ve sözlü İngilizce kullanım açıklamaları Dilbilgisi Eş anlamlılar sözlüğü
  • Pronunciation British and American pronunciations with audio English Pronunciation
  • İngilizce–Çince (Basitleştirilmiş) Chinese (Simplified)–English
  • İngilizce–Çince (Geleneksel) Chinese (Traditional)–English
  • İngilizce–Hollandaca Hollandaca–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–Fransızca Fransızca–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–Almanca Almanca–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–Endonezce Endonezce–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–İtalyanca İtalyanca–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–Japonca Japonca–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–Norveççe Norveççe–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–Lehçe Lehçe–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–Portekizce Portekizce–İngilizce
  • İngilizce–İspanyolca İspanyolca–İngilizce
  • English–Swedish Swedish–English
  • Sözlük Plus Sözcük Listeleri
  • travel (MAKE JOURNEY)
  • travel light
  • travel (MOVE)
  • really travel
  • travel (BREAK RULE)
  • travel (ACTIVITY)
  • İş    Verb Noun
  • Translations
  • Bütün çeviriler

To add travel to a word list please sign up or log in.

Aşağıdaki listelerinizden birine travel 'ı ekleyin ya da yeni bir tane yaratın.


Bir şey yolunda gitmedi.

Bildirinizi göndermede hata oluştu.


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    spaceship anlam, tanım, spaceship nedir: 1. (especially in stories) a vehicle used for travel in space 2. (especially in stories) a vehicle…. Daha fazlasını öğren.

  11. space

    alan, yer i. isim: Canlı cansız bütün varlıkları ve kavramları ifade eder. That space over there is a great place to put the tent. Karşıdaki alan çadır kurmak için harika görünüyor. space n. noun: Refers to person, place, thing, quality, etc. (empty area) boşluk, boş alan, boş yer i.

  12. Travels in time and space

    10 days. 100 days. Only includes humans who have reached altitudes of at least 100 km. Flight durations are based on take-off/landing so short flights over-estimate the time in space. You may also be interested in our map of astronaut birthplaces, who is in space, a breakdown of astronauts per year, our human spaceflight timeline, or our ...

  13. Space Travel News

    NASA One Step Closer to Fueling Space Missions with Plutonium-238. 2 min read. The recent shipment of heat source plutonium-238 from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory to its…. Article.

  14. space travel

    travel through or into space

  15. What is space travel?

    Space travel refers to human or robotic travel beyond Earth's atmosphere into space. It includes missions to other planets, moons, asteroids, and beyond. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter which summarizes all articles from the previous week. Email. Facebook. Twitter. Linkedin. Email.

  16. space

    space çevir: yer, alan, mahal, boşluk, uzay, feza, aralıklarla veya zaman aralığı ile sıraya…. Daha fazlasını öğrenmek için bkz. Cambridge İngilizce ...

  17. SPACE

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  19. Space travel

    Space travel - related words and phrases | Cambridge SMART Vocabulary

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    Answers for Travel in space crossword clue, 3 letters. Search for crossword clues found in the Daily Celebrity, NY Times, Daily Mirror, Telegraph and major publications. Find clues for Travel in space or most any crossword answer or clues for crossword answers.

  21. travel

    travel çevir: yolculuk etmek, seyahat etmek, gezmek, gitmek, yayılmak, ulaşmak, yolculuk, seyahat, yolculuk…. Daha fazlasını öğrenmek için bkz. Cambridge ...

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  23. TRAVEL

    travel anlam, tanım, travel nedir: 1. to make a journey, usually over a long distance: 2. If something travels well/badly, it…. Daha fazlasını öğren.