With Jeff Bezos marking the 52nd anniversary of the moon landing by blasting himself into space on July 20, 2021, many are seeing the dawn of the age of space tourism (at least for the wealthy).
The job of getting people and equipment into space is already big business – with the space industry generating an estimated $300b a year in revenue. Elon Musk’s SpaceX alone has a purported market valuation of $74 billion. However, most of those revenues have little to do with imagination-capturing ideas about flying tourists to space or colonising Mars. Instead, it’s in the comparatively mundane business of getting satellites into orbit that most money is made today.
Space tourism remains a highly speculative field and it is yet to be seen whether a sustainable business model can be found.