Toggle light / dark theme

As we approach the new year, there’s always talk of new trends. One such trend that finally kicked off in 2021 and will undoubtedly gain momentum in 2022 is space tourism. By mid-2021, two private companies — Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin — launched paying customers to space.

While we haven’t yet gotten commercial space stations or moon vacations, space tourism is definitely here to stay — and will have some exciting developments in 2022.

One of the great criticisms of space tourism is its cost; it’s prohibitively expensive for most people and thus feels inaccessible. In fact, there are ways to bring space into your life in 2022 — even if you’re not taking yourself to space (or the edge of it). Here are five ways to experience space tourism in the coming year, from budget-friendly to budget blow-out.

For a low-cost, accessible, outdoors, and distance-friendly way to bring more space into your life in 2022, consider attending a dark sky festival. Many of these events were canceled in 2020 and/or 2021, but some great dark sky destinations have figured out how to have safe outdoor under-the-star experiences.

Full Story:

British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has become the first spaceline to get the go-ahead from the FAA to take up space tourists — a huge milestone in recreational spaceflight.

Space tourists: For decades, only governments could afford to launch people into space, but thanks to reusable rockets and other advances, spaceflight is now cheaper than ever.

That’s led to a burgeoning space tourism industry, with dozens of companies looking to take people on recreational trips into space — or at least the edge of it.

Having launched 31 orbital Falcon 9 missions and four suborbital Starship tests, 2021 was the most active year for SpaceX to date. These launches included a number of new reuse records, including flying a booster for the eleventh time, flying the same booster twice in under a month, flying a fairing half for the fifth time, and setting a turnaround record for Dragon.

Falcon 9 Boosters

2021 brought only two new Falcon 9s into the fleet: B1067 and B1069, which first flew on the CRS-22 and CRS-24 missions, respectively. All of the other 29 Falcon 9 missions were flown on flight-proven boosters. These flights included the first eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh flight of a first stage, meeting and surpassing CEO Elon Musk’s stated goal to fly a Falcon 9 first stage 10 times without major refurbishment.

NASA announced that James Webb telescope course corrections used less fuel than expected, which means Webb can expect to work for more than 10 years.

And as NASA announced Wednesday morning, Webb may get to peer deep into the universe for even longer than expected: Webb used less of its limited supply of propellant during two course-correction thruster burns after launch than expected, and the space agency says it should have enough left over to enable operations “significantly” longer than the expected 10-year mission.

The James Webb just deployed another important instrument — the aft momentum flap — that will keep the telescope steady as it makes its groundbreaking observations.

On December 25th, 2021, astronomers and space exploration enthusiasts got the greatest Christmas present of all! After years of delays, cost overruns, and additional testing, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. In what was a real nail-biter, the Ariane 5 rocket and its precious payload reached orbit without a hitch. But as is so often the case, the deployment of the JWST was just the first in a series of “hurry up and wait” episodes.

Typically, periods of waiting are seeing are accompanied by plenty of worry and doubt. Luckily, there have been several positive developments since the JWST launched that could help alleviate these anxieties. The latest is how the telescope successfully deployed its aft momentum flap, an instrument that will keep the telescope oriented during its mission. The news was announced yesterday (December 30th) via @NASAWebb, NASA’s official Twitter account for the Webb telescope, and the JWST page at NASA Blogs.

According to NASA Blogs, the deployment of the aft momentum flap began at 09:00 AM EST (06:00 AM PST) and lasted about eight minutes. During this time, the mission team released the flap’s hold-down devices while a spring brought the flap into its final position. The purpose of this flap is to maintain the observatory’s orientation to minimize the fuel engineers will need to make corrective adjustments throughout the mission.

Hypersonic air travel is anything that travels at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. The U.S. was once a leader in developing supersonic and hypersonic technology, but has taken “our foot off the gas,” according to Mark Lewis, executive director of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies Institute.

Watch the video to find out more about how the U.S. fell behind Russia, China and possibly North Korea, and how we’re spending billions to catch up.

Hypersonic air travel, for both military and commercial use, could be here within the decade.

The $770 billion National Defense Authorization Act signed into law Tuesday calls for investing billions into hypersonic research and development, making them a top priority for Washington. The next step is congressional approval to allocate the money for the technology to the Pentagon.

“If you are traveling at hypersonic speeds, you’re, you’re going more than a mile per second,” said Mark Lewis, executive director of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies Institute. “That’s important for military applications. It could have commercial applications. It could also open up new, new ways of reaching space.”

Hypersonic is anything traveling above Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. That’s roughly 3,800 mph. At those speeds, commercial planes could travel from New York to London in under two hours.

NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems fully assembled NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion Spacecraft, and our launch and recovery teams are fully certified for NASA Artemis I, launching next year. Artemis I will be the uncrewed start of humanity’s return to the Moon! 🌕

Risen Energy Co. is planning to build a 45 billion yuan ($7 billion) integrated solar power factory in Inner Mongolia that’ll run on clean energy.

I do not own this video. It is owned by ABC Australia. Interstellar voyage to find the second Earth — space documentary.
Support me:

A documentary showcasing interstellar travel to visit an Earth-like planet, a bona fide Earth 2.0 to see if there is life on it. Follow this amazing adventure in state of the art CGI and with the world’s leading scientists.