Space Travel: The Next Big Leap?


Space has been a big topic in the last year. From Elon Musk launching his Tesla into space, live streaming for all to see, to NASA releasing a playlist of space sounds and finally to the President calling for the creation of a “Space Force” the area just beyond our atmosphere has been making an even bigger impact than before.

One of the biggest industries at the moment is space tourism. With the recent successful flight of Virgin Galactic’s spaceship reaching what the company is calling the “boundary of space”, the idea of going to space for your next holiday trip is not as far-fetched as it would have been to just a generation before us. It is crazy to think that in their generation even leaving the planet was considered a big feat, with the US and Soviets eyeing to be the first to send man into space. Ultimately we all know how this ended up, but given the innumerable dangers that come along with space flight, are we sure that the todays technology is safe enough to put the everyday person into space?

“We are at the vanguard of a new industry determined to pioneer twenty-first century spacecraft, which will open space to everybody-and change the world for good.”-Sir Richard Branson

With the last Space Shuttle mission occurring on July 21, 2011, it has been close to 8 years since the US government sponsored a mission to send its people to space. This leaves private industry to pick up the slack. However, this leads to an ethical dilemma, is it best to allow private enterprises the first chance at space tourism and thereby set the rules or should it be up to a governing body to ensure that space is not abused? We can see time and time again the exploitation that private industries have done in regard to the environment. Who is to say this wont happen in space, we may never know.

In my own personal opinion, I believe that it would be best for some international organization to oversee space travel. Much like the ESA or NASA. I feel that this would ensure that space travel will be looked at with equitable eyes while keeping away government agencies and private companies who would be looking to exploit space travel for its own benefit. However, when the added layers of government come into play, inevitably it stifles the competition. This may need to be a necessary evil to ensure that space flight and travel will be around for more generations than just ours.