• Question: will normal people ever be able to go to space?

    Asked by caitlink0406 to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 21 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by fang17, chloe97xox.
    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi caitlin!

      If they can afford to pay people like NASA a lot of money then I think yes it will probably be possible – but for people like you and me (unless you are loaded?) thats a bit of a long way off!! 🙂

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hey Caitlin… yes if they are super rich… think if you google it.. virgin were doing some passanger space travel.. super expensive! 🙂

    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi Caitlin. The main restrictions are the amount of energy that is needed, and the safety. Launching a human into space along with the things they need to survive and come back again is always going to be expensive just from the amount of energy it needs. We might get to the point where you could afford it as a once in a lifetime experience, but not as a regular thing.

      If you decided to never own a car, and put all the money you would spend on a car and fuel into an account for your spacetrip, you could probably make it to space in your lifetime.

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hello caitlin, fang and chloe!! Great question! Yes, I think we will. Right now the manned space industry is undergoing somewhat of a revolution with the privatization of space flight. Companies such as Virgin as Julia has mentioned are actually trying to privately (as opposed to being funded through a government agency) produce technology for manned space flight. This is being encouraged by competitions such as the Ansari X prize.

      You cannot buy your way into a NASA mission. But, you can earn your way. If you want to be an astronaut for many governments, you don’t need to be born well off, but you do need to study really really hard and get in really good shape! However, some governments like Russia will actually sell seats on rockets to the highest bidder. Again you have to be wealthy to buy a ticket – for example, space tourists include the rich and famous, like the guy who started Cirque DuSoleil.

      All this privatization of manned spaceflight might be good for future space tourism for you and me though! The more people invest in it the more accessible it will become. After all, initially cars and planes were only for the wealthy but quickly became more accessible out of necessity. Space flight is not so necessary (at least not yet!), but even so the same principle applies – the more we do the more accessible it will become!! I hope it will be in my lifetime!