When Can Regular People Afford A Visit To The Moon?
A trip to the Moon, which looked like a faraway dream some decades back, is fast becoming a reality. Would you go on such an adventure? Do you have the money for it, if it becomes possible? A visit to the Moon surely wouldn’t be cheap like visiting your favorite tourist sites here. What is there to see? There are no extraordinary skyscrapers, historical sites, beaches, or museums, and most importantly, there is no oxygen there. However, all those mentioned above even makes the Moon worth visiting.
Recently, two billionaires took a short trip to space. On his Virgin Galactic rocket plane, Sir Richard Branson made a 90-minute trip, becoming the first billionaire to make the trip on his space ship.
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos soon followed with a trip to the edge of space. The current cost for those short trips is something no regular person could afford. This tells you that even if a moon trip is made possible, only the super-rich could afford the cost for the next long while.
This begs the question: when will regular people make a moon visit? We tried to find some answers from experts in this field.
Wendy N. Whiteman Cobb
An Associate Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Wendy N. Whiteman Cobb, said such predictions are never correct. She said it isn’t easy to predict space events. According to her, during the 1950s, there were claims that a regular moon visit was just around the corner. However, that dream has remained a façade for several decades now. She emphasized that such trips undoubtedly require commitment and money because space is expensive. For the technology and technical know-how to get there, she added that the Apollo program took care of it some years back. Professor Wendy indicated that the price is gradually coming down, thanks to reusable launch vehicles.
Jim Bell, a professor of Earth & Space Exploration at the University of Arizona, in his book The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide, claimed the advancement in technology and propulsion would cut down space travel time and cost. He said if the current exploits by NASA and other space agencies become successful, astronauts would soon return to the Moon to explore it further. With the pace in governmental and commercial space system pursuit and technology advancement, he added that human-capable launchers, rovers, landers, and orbiters to the Moon and Mars would be proven in the next decade. Prof. Bell believes commercial space travel for regular people may be possible in the second half of this century.