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Space Tourism

Why is it in the news?

  • Gopi Thotakura is an Indian entrepreneur and pilot selected as one of the six crew members for Blue Origin’s NS-25 mission, making him the first Indian space tourist.

About Space Tourism

  • It’s a burgeoning sector within aviation that offers individuals the chance to experience space travel for recreational, leisure, or business purposes.
  • There are two main types: sub-orbital and orbital.

1) Sub-orbital: Takes passengers just beyond the Kármán line, allowing them to spend a few minutes in outer space before returning to Earth. Examples include Blue Origin’s New Shepard.

2) Orbital: Takes passengers much further into space, where they can spend days to weeks in orbit around the Earth. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is an example of a spacecraft used for orbital tourism.


  • Space tourism is currently very expensive, often costing passengers at least a million dollars, making it inaccessible to most people.
  • Studies have highlighted the environmental damage caused by rocket launches, with emissions contributing to atmospheric warming. The soot emissions from rocket launches are particularly effective at warming the atmosphere.
  • Despite high safety standards, there have been fatalities in space travel. As of November 2023, approximately 3% of astronauts have died during their space flights, raising concerns about safety in space tourism.

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