English Hindi


Prelims Capsule

Science & Technology

New Shepard Rocket System by Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to make Space Tourism possible

New Shepard Rocket System by Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to make Space Tourism possible


  • GS 3 || Science & Technology || Space || Space Missions

Why in the news?

New Shephard has been named after astronaut Alan Shephard – the first American to go to space – and offers flights to space over 100 km above the Earth and accommodation for payloads.

Present context:

  • Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos’s space company called Blue Origin concluded the online auction for the first seat on New Shephard, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space. Over 7,600 people registered from 159 countries to bid for this seat, which ultimately went for a winning bid of $28 million.
  • The winning bidder will get to fly aboard New Shephard along with Bezos and his brother, when it takes its first human flight on July 20, which marks the 52nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing.

Space Tourism:

  • Space tourism is a type of tourism that involves an interest in space. Whilst most people associate space tourism solely with trips to space, the concept of space tourism is, in fact, broader than this.
  • Space tourism can include visiting space-focussed museums, watching rocket launches or travelling to destinations popular for stargazing, amongst other space-related activities.
  • Most recently, there has been a lot of commercial attention centred on the concept of travelling to space as a tourist; this is something that several companies are working to achieve in the near future, including Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.

Types of space tourism:

  • Stargazing: Stargazing is a popular space tourism pastime for many. There are many parts of the world that are renowned for their stargazing potential.
  • Rocket launches: Whilst a rocket launch may not be an everyday occurrence, it is possible to spectate when they do happen. Once operated only by Governments, there are now a range of private companies that undertake rocket launches.
  • Virgin Galactic, Space X, Armadillo Aerospace, Blue Origin, Bigelow Aerospace and Xcor Aerospace has already not only joined the race of space tourism project but they are also making a remarkable progress.
  • India can play a vital role in developing a very cost effective solution for space travel technologies, thus it imperative to investigate the possibility of space tourism in India.

Requirement of space tourism:

  • High inclined orbits are favorable, covering a greater proportion of earth’s surface.
  • Due to medical restrictions the acceleration level should be kept lower than 3 G.
  • Although most survey participants prefer longer space trips, it would be recommended to limit the space tour to several hours in accordance to avoid space sickness. There is no general time limit until space sickness will occur, but it has been shown that in the first hours of space flight the space sickness rate is at low levels.
  • By reducing flight time, some space tourists may think to get insufficient service for their money. To compensate for this feeling a kind of luxurious space camp should be implemented before each space flight. In providing technical information, health monitoring and professional space training, a space camp will intensify the feeling of becoming a “real astronaut”. A great psychological momentum in gaining customer’s content.
  • In general, appropriate procedures are required to proof health conditions of space tourists. Because of the fact that some tourists will be dismissed from space flight due to medical reasons, it would be recommended to accomplish health inspections very wise, best in connection with a space camp.
  • Most important, it would be essential to meet the demand price figures. Considering the market surveys, a sufficient demand will be established at ticket prices of $50,000 or less

Advantages of space tourism:

  • More knowledge about space unexplored region:The benefits of space travel are centered on learning more about our universe’s unexplored frontiers. The desire to be able to directly explore regions that few others have ever been able to view has motivated the exploration of this planet for thousands of years. Humans have an insatiable drive to learn more about new locations and solve puzzles.
  • For a certain (rich) portion of the population, space tourism might likewise fulfil these needs.
  • Employment possibilities:There is undoubtedly an economic impact that would benefit firms trying to offer the necessary means of transportation, so those with degrees in aerospace or computer engineering would have additional employment possibilities. Universities that offer those programs are expected to experience an increase in student interest.
  • Expansion of space sector:Allowing for the commercialization of space flight also enables for expansion without government intervention; today, NASA is funded solely by the government, so when politicians want to reduce spending, space funding is frequently one of the first things to go.
  • Private financing, on the other hand, would allow travel and exploration to continue regardless of whether or not politicians saw the value in it. Companies are free to pursue their own objectives if they have sufficient funds.

Issues with space tourism:

  • The effects of space flight on our planet endangers all humans, as well as plants and animals.
  • Space entrepreneurs, such as Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson, believe that space travel has a lower carbon impact than conventional air travel. However, scientists are concerned about the soot or black carbon produced by rocket exhaust.
  • Unlike in the lower atmosphere, soot deposited in the stratosphere (about 5 to 31 miles above the Earth) cannot be wiped away by rain or winds. As a result, black carbon may persist in the stratosphere for years, accelerating climate change tenfold.
  • Some studies that calculate the possible soot buildup based on projected demand levels and simulations paint a bleak picture, with huge sea ice loss, ozone layer depletion, and temperature rises.

Role of Private Sector:

  • Private-sector businesses are competing in the space tourism market.
  • SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are three of the United States’ space tourism firms.
  • To attract visitors, firms are lowering the cost of space tourism.
  • The private sector is providing superior luxury in spaceflight by providing all revolutionary space travel equipment.
  • In the coming years, private sector businesses will also shape “hypersonic travel.”

Future Opportunity:

  • The industry’s primary source of employment will be space tourism.
  • In the next years, there will be opportunities for pilots, programmers, and manufacturing in the space travel industry.
  • Rekindle a passion for space and space exploration.
  • Industry innovation and space exploration.


As can be seen, space tourism is a significant element of the overall tourist sector. While most people focus on the thrilling potential of space tourism vacations, space tourism also encompasses a variety of other leisure activities. As a number of commercial operators continue to conduct research and development, the space tourism sector is expected to witness a lot of changes in the next years.

Mains oriented question:

What do you mean when you say “space tourism”? Discuss its origins and what the space tourist may expect in the future, as well as the advantages of flying people into space. (250 words)