Spaceflight has always been fascinating, exciting and something that has captured the attention of the average man since the space race commenced in 1955. But only 547 people have ever travelled into space, making it something that the average person dreams of but never entertains as reality. It’s more the realm of NASA astronauts, Russian cosmonauts and space chimpanzees.

Ham_the_chimp

News of advancements, crashes and billions of dollars invested in private space travel are splashed across the news, but will it ever be an option to make it into space in your lifetime? Is it really a reality we can expect in our lifetimes or is it strictly he domain of the rich boys and their toys?

Background

Until 1984 space travel had been the realm of government run space agencies, such as NASA, however laws were passed by senate to deregulate the industry allowing private companies to make their own launches. This saw several companies in the United States and Europe sending payloads into space on behalf of NASA, and this was how modern private space travel opened the doors to the public.

First Private Space Traveler

first private space traveler

Launching humans into space wasn’t on the radar until recently when we started to see private space flights taking place for the mega rich courtesy of the Russian space agency. Denis Tito, a 61 year old Californian former NASA engineer, was the first private tourist to venture into space along with two Russian cosmonauts when they launched from Khazakstan for a trip to the international space station. Tito paid $20 million for the honor, and his trip was met with many concerns about the safety issues he could cause by riding along – but he made it in the end.

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