A single crash in 30 years ended the Concorde’s run. Costs were just too prohibitive to keep it flying.
So then, how long will it be before the budding “space tourism” industry comes crashing down to reality?
I think too many Hollywood movies have caused people to take the concept of space travel lightly. I’m not sure it’s something anyone should be doing just for zero-gravity grins.
Actual astronauts undergo extensive training before making the leap into space, and the handful of civilians who’ve paid the Russians to take them into space have at least had a crash course, for lack of a better expression.
The only requirement for the coming breed of space tourists seems to be a lot of money. Some people apparently have too much of it and little idea what to do with it.
True, commercial spacecraft will only reach the edge of space, so issues like superheated reentry into the earth’s atmosphere aren’t as big a concern as they are for, say, NASA. But that’s still a long way up, and all the hazards of conventional air travel and then some apply.
And consider this: The most realistic space-oriented theme park ride going, as certified by real astronauts, has already killed a couple of people.
I'm as intrigued by the idea of space travel as anyone. A couple of minutes of nausea-inducing weightlessness do not an astronaut make, however. The commercial space travel industry and its patrons should proceed with the caution and respect due such a potentially consequential endeavor.