Monday, August 22, 2016

Space Travel Deals Coming Your Way

A set of "travel posters" from NASA/JPL depicts various cosmic destinations. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Out-of-this-world deals could have literal meaning in not so distant future as the final frontier is about to open up for adventure-seeking and thrill-loving people. It’s a matter of time when we will see beyond-Earth travel destinations where no tourist has gone before, available at bargain prices.

When in 2001, Dennis Tito, an American multimillionaire, flew to the International Space Station (ISS) and became the first space tourist, it seemed that journeys into orbit are reserved only for the wealthiest people in the world. Tito paid a hefty $20 million to Space Adventures company for his flight and it was one of the cheapest private spaceflight in history. Next space tourists paid even $40 million to get into orbit, like Guy Laliberté, a Canadian entrepreneur that flew to the ISS in 2009. 

However, the space travel market is constantly opening for new players, competing for future clients seeking spacefaring adventures. Companies like Virgin Galactic, XCOR or Blue Origin have reduced the cost of space travel to about $100,000 for one trip, making orbital flights more accessible for common people. This price will eventually get lower with every new venture stepping into the market.

Recently, even China has laid out its plans to develop a next-generation spacecraft for cheaper space travel. They plan to do it by 2030, focusing on developing a hybrid spaceplane that will incorporate different kinds of engine technologies. The vehicle is planned to be reusable and is expected to be able to take off and land like an airplane at normal operational airports. These attributes could substantially reduce the cost of space travel.

Therefore, in a few years’ time, we could see some great holiday deals that would include trips beyond Earth. Moreover, even coupons, discounts, and special promo codes could be offered for space travel just like Groupon Coupons. Currently, Groupon offers many travel destinations around the world at discounted prices, in the form of Travelocity coupons. Someday, we could be just one click away from booking an all-inclusive trip to space cheaper than we could ever dream of.

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