Commercial Space Travel – Plans, Costs, Nearest Opportunities

Commercial Space Travel

Is it your dream to travel in space? Did you spend a lot of time building rocket ships and dreaming of intergalactic adventure as a child? Would you have loved to have been an astronaut? Do you still dream of some day venturing beyond the confines of our planet? Commercial space travel is not a new concept. People have been dreaming of voyaging beyond our atmosphere for generations.

In the age of the Apollo missions, and when man first stepped foot on the moon – it seemed that ordinary people taking vacations there would only be a matter of time. We’re still not quite there – at least not yet. But commercial space travel could soon be far more commonplace. Before too long – commercial space travel may be more than just a pipe dream for those who are not NASA trained.

NASA and commercial space travel

In the almost 20 years since Dennis Tito journeyed to the International Space Station, eight private citizens have paid the $20 million fee to travel to space. Space Adventures suggests that this number could increase fifteen-fold by 2020. Virgin Galactic has also sold around 700 tickets at $200,000 or $250,000 each, and accepted more than $80 million in deposits.

Current costs

On June 7th 2019, NASA announced that, starting in 2020, private astronauts would be allowed to go to the International Space Station once more – for $35,000 per day per individual! So though you do not need to be trained to go into space – you will need to have money to spend!


Elon Musk is a key figure in commercial space flight of the near future. His latest project, dubbed the #dearmoon project, is an intended free-return trip to the Moon. Yusaku Maezawa is the wealthy passenger for this inaugural trip, and his intention is to take 6-8 artists with him to inspire them to create new art. This flight is expected to take place no earlier than 2023.


Elon Musk has also ambitiously said that he hopes that BFR will be ready for an un-piloted trip to Mars in 2022, before a crewed flight follows in 2024. Of course, even should these projects come to fruition, they will only be for the very wealthy, at least at first. Space Adventures, another commercial space travel company, have announced that they too are working on a circumlunar mission to the Moon, with the price per passenger said to be $100 million!

Benefits of commercial space travel

Commercial space travel is not without its critics. Some object to the environmental damage that could come from sending more vehicles into space. There is evidence that suggests that commercial space flight could contribute to and worsen global warming. Others, however, say that enabling space flight is the only way to ensure survival for the human race in the face of the existential threats we face. Some criticize the fact that only the wealthy can go, while others see that progress towards affordable space flight for the many will only come when research and development is funded by the few.

Whichever side of the debate you find yourself on, it seems clear that we are entering a new age for space exploration – and commercial interests are set to play an ever more important role.

Leave a Comment