HomeSpace FlightApollo 11 vs. space tourism in 2022

Apollo 11 vs. space tourism in 2022

This week we celebrate the anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first humans to step onto the moon. Meanwhile, as the federal space program that put them on the lunar surface dodders and sputters along, a new wave of humans are stepping out onto the space frontier, except this time they don’t work for the government. Why is it important? Who benefits? What’s the difference?

A so-called “space tourist” is typically a person who has worked to accumulate enough funds to obtain a ride into space; who goes through appropriate training, then, achieving a life-long dream, goes to space. While there, they look around and take in the experience. Many use their time in space to promote idea-based projects such as inspiring students or drawing focus to the Earth’s environmental challenges. Others do scientific experiments, as in the recent week-long Axiom mission to the International Space Station.

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