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Though for many space travel is the ultimate fantasy, for the select few it has become an expensive reality.
With the original space tourist, Dennis Tito, coughing up a cool $20 million for the privilege of being the first paying visitor to outer space, travel beyond our planet has become a realisable goal at last. Since Tito, a further six space tourists have been blasted into orbit, all returning safely to Earth at the end of their trip. As companies such as Virgin Galactic prepare to put tickets for the first commercial space flights on the market, ABTA has revealed figures that show one in three of us are ready to leave the planet and travel into space.
Interestingly, opinions concerning space travel are divided between the genders, with 38% of men saying they would like to strap themselves into a rocket ship compared to only 23% of women. This disparity is also reflected in the generational gap, with 43% of the younger generation willing to take advantage of the opportunity, but 69% of 55-64 year olds and 73% of over 65s saying that they have no interest whatsoever.
The figures also changed when respondents were asked whether they’d take the journey after it had been tested extensively, with a greater number of people across all demographics hopping aboard once it had been proven safe.
With space tourism considered a complete fantasy a matter of decades ago, the figures highlight just how quickly public expectations and appetite concerning travel can grow.
Though there is an enormous amount of work and development to be done before space travel becomes a mass market product (reports indicate that Virgin Galactic will be offering tickets for around $250,000, though this is yet to be confirmed), it is both an exciting and innovative time for the travel and transport industries, as both begin to tackle ideas that pose radically new problems.
Those planning a holiday within the confines of this planet should organise travel insurance before they go.
Date Created: 15/10/2013