SpaceX Cruises Could Be a Thing of the Future After Elon Musk's Successful Civilian Mission
After the successful trip of the world’s first orbital civilian space crew, more sophisticated space tours could soon be on their way. SpaceX recently completed a historic milestone for space tourism, flying out four civilians into space where they flew beyond the International Space Station and orbited the Earth for three days.
The civilians on the Inspiration4 mission: billionaire businessman Jared Isaacman who paid for everyone on the trip, geology professor Sian Proctor, Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, and healthcare worker and cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux.
Unlike Jeff Bezos’ nine-minute commercial, suborbital spaceflight, the SpaceX mission gained positive feedback from space enthusiasts and the media for its technological feat and charitable focus. The mission raised over $200 million for a children’s cancer research hospital.
All four civilians prepared for roughly a year before their mission, going through rigorous exercises and training at SpaceX headquarters, all of which was documented on the new Netflix documentary Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space.
Despite the long process SpaceX requires to let civilians into space, the company is already getting flooded with requests and inquiries by interested customers. So much so that SpaceX is planning an even grander space tourism project for the future: space cruises with SpaceX’s biggest rocket to date, the Starship.
“Starship will be able to carry a lot more people at once,” said senior director of human spaceflight programs Benji Reed to Futurism.“So, you know, there’s really both options, and we have interest for both Dragons and Starships, which is pretty exciting.”
The Starship is still under development, with plans to run a test launch later this year. The Starship spacecraft, if successful, will be the planet’s biggest and most powerful space vehicle with the potential to carry roughly 100 individuals on a space cruise, to the Moon, and perhaps even to Mars.
Futurism compared the Crew Dragon capsule, the current small pod that carries NASA astronauts to space, to a taxi, while the highly-anticipated Starship to a cruise. If that proves true, then the future of space travel will be exciting indeed.