Picnic on Mars?

Picnic on Mars? - Seniors Today Cover Image

Your next leisure trip could literally be out of this world, writes Sandeep Suri

If I ask you to pick your next holiday destination that is quite literally ‘out of this world’, perhaps today, you may not consider booking a trip in outer space, but this is soon going to be a reality! It is the future of tourism, or can be regarded as the next big disruptor for the airline industry.

It may be difficult for us to comprehend for now but remember, am not narrating a science fiction or it’s not a sci-fi fan’s fever dream. This isn’t just good news for some of us with a burning desire to visit the Moon, see our home planet from space or set up a picnic camp on Mars — if you’re a keen traveller, it’s highly likely you’ll eventually benefit from developments relating to space exploration. In fact, several companies, including Boeing, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, are sprinting to perfect their race towards space.

Curiosity and opportunity

Business is already putting sustainability at the forefront of what they do on Earth, and in the years ahead, the same shall be applied to our activities in space. Today space is not just an economic opportunity but also a subject of intellectual and spiritual curiosity. In today’s world it is considered big opportunity for business!

Most likely, the first few flights will be near the edge of space — more than 100 miles above Earth — where you can have a ‘no gravity’ experience and enjoy the view. Well, if you are willing ‘to be taken for a ride’ and your wallet can afford it, prepare for sticker shock — Virgin Galactic is selling tickets for a whopping price of $250,000!

The final frontier, backpacks and surfboards in space
The final frontier, backpacks and surfboards in space

Intergalactic exploration doesn’t come cheap. Initially travelling to space will be costly and not for everyone. While only a limited few will have the opportunity to design a travel itinerary around space as the cost is the biggest prohibitor. Just in case you are like me and would like to explore space virtually, disruptive forces are likely to change the nature of space exploration gradually. With technology improving at an unprecedented pace, virtual reality will play a significant role in giving people the experience of space travel. This will be critical for building up interest in space.

The cost factor

On the other hand, once commercial space flights begin operating like on a consistent basis, efficiencies will naturally occur, costs will start going south. The first few passengers will pave the way, and the goal is that eventually it becomes something more within reach for others. Moreover, as the economy of scale kicks in, the cost will eventually come down. And for those who can afford it, this should be an experience to cherish for a long time!

What is a holiday without pictures to prove you were there?
What is a holiday without pictures to prove you were there?

It could be some time before just anyone gets an opportunity to visit outer space, but with current developments underway, one can only hope that things expedite, and it soon becomes a reality for a much larger population. So, watch it — 30-minute flights from London to New York—and potentially a holiday to Mars — could become a reality much sooner than you think. Don’t be surprised if your family and friends say — bon voyage for a trip to space in the next few years. Enjoy the ride!

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