Space travel and exploration has been drastically revolutionized in the 21st century. As a result of this huge transformation around the world, humans can possibly enjoy a short space vacation.
Over the past couple of decades, private companies have also shown their interest in space programs and participated in the battle of dominating space orbits. This superpower battle could possibly make space travel much easier, and more affordable.
Humans have always looked at the sky and wondered about objects seen in the night sky. In today’s article, we are going to take a look at the history of space travel and the future holds for us on the horizon. Read on to learn more.
A Brief History of Space Travel
Before looking towards the future of space travel, let us begin with a brief history of it. With the development of rockets and the advances in electronics and other technologies, it was already possible to send equipment, animals, and humans, to outer space in the 20th century itself.
It all began in 1957 when the Soviets sent the first-ever manmade satellite, Sputnik 1 into orbit. Four years later, the Soviets also became the first nation to successfully accomplish the first-ever manned satellite, which saw Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin in space.
On the other hand, the United States of America was also on the parallel line to get to outer space. In January 1958, the USA sent their first satellite Explorer 1 into orbit. Another big leap in the history of space travel was Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon in 1969.
Over the years, there have been numerous successful and failed space programs by various space agencies.
Private Companies in Space Exploration
For those who have been following space exploration closely, private spaceflight might not be a new concept. Private companies have played a vital role in the aerospace industry from the very beginning.
Companies like SpaceShipOne and SpaceX has always been the closest associates of NASA for some of their major space programs. Numerous companies have been showing active participation in space exploration programs.
Some of them are Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Robert Bigelow’s Bigelow Aerospace. However, SpaceX has been almost untouchable in the race of commercial space travel programs.
SpaceX completely changed the space travel scenario by developing reusable rockets that have been running regular cargo supply to the International Space Station (ISS).
On May 31, 2020, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch the Crew Dragon that docked with the ISS with two astronauts in it.
Musk promises with SpaceX’s space travel technologies, it would be a lot more comfortable and most importantly a lot more affordable. In an interview, Musk also put forward his wish to send a million people to Mars by 2050.
What the Future Holds for Us?
In the 1970s, a cold war of space race existed between the USA and the Soviets. But, today the landscape is completely different with several nations and agencies participating in the race.
Currently, there are more than 70 government and commercial space agencies, with only 13 of them having launch capabilities.
Over the next 50 years, both government and commercial space agencies have several different objectives, including the development of advanced and innovative spacecraft, space tourism.
Space tourism is one of the best things that are happening in the space travel industry. In the last decade, companies like Virgin Galactic, Airbus, and Blue Origin have begun developing commercial spacecraft to send private customers to space.
The Bottom Line
Modern space exploration is reaching areas that were once only dreamed about. And, with enough money in your pocket, you could be one of those few fortunate to travel to space.