the future of travel is almost here

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Over time, this could be extended to a 24-module “ferris wheel” – “Voyager” – capable of generating its own artificial gravity via centrifugal force. In other words, it will spin, allowing its guests to move about unhindered by “micro-gravity” (weightlessness). And in addition to being able to accommodate astronauts and other professionals, conducting experiments like those already attempted on the International Space Station (ISS), it will welcome vacationers. “Voyager will have an area used by tourists,” says Alatorre. “So people can come, they can play space games, they can experience microgravity and artificial gravity, and they can have a good time.”

At first, these trips will be extremely expensive. Alatorre values ​​a 10-day stay on one of his company’s space stations at US$55 million – although he points out that the vast majority of that amount (around $50 million) will be the cost to get there. to return. “Our price to stay on the resort is actually very low compared to that total number,” he continues. “And this is still just the beginning, where participants will be early adopters and high net worth individuals. We expect prices to decline as market forces kick in.”

SpaceX – (spacex.com), the aerospace giant founded by tech billionaire Elon Musk – will be instrumental in this. Starship, its next-generation heavy launch vehicle, is due to perform an orbital test flight later this year and is expected to have considerable passenger capacity going forward. Alatorre has similar hopes for the Boeing Starliner, whose first crewed launch is scheduled for February; I pretty much hope that by 2040 orbital tourism should be affordable well beyond the billionaire population. “Ideally, by 2040, the cost of a week in a space hotel would be less than €10,000,” he enthuses. “That’s the price we would like to achieve.”

If slipping outside the bounds of planetary gravity seems like too far a frontier, whatever the cost, there is always the alternative of heading the other way. Down.

Of the keynote speakers booked to speak at SUTUS 2022, perhaps the most eye-catching was Fabien Cousteau. If there’s a familiarity ring in the name, there should be. This is the grandson of legendary French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau – a man who continues the “family business”, but a force in underwater exploration in his own right.

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