QOTW: Is space tourism worth the risk?

by Parm Mann on 7 November 2014, 16:30

Tags: Virgin (NASDAQ:VMED)

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The dream of commercial space travel is fast becoming reality through groundbreaking programs such as Virgin Galactic.

The British spaceflight company intends to take tourists beyond our skies and into outer space and, having unveiled its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft in 2009, an estimated 300 people quickly snapped-up rides at a cost of $200,000 per person.

A dream come true for space/technology enthusiasts with riches to spare, but the project has stumbled in the subsequent years, culminating in disaster a week ago when the fourth rocket-powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo crashed in California's Mojave desert. 39-year old test pilot Michael Alsbury was killed while 43-year-old co-pilot Peter Siebold miraculously survived.

The events have led to serious questions being raised over the value of space tourism, with some claiming it isn't worth dying for. Sir Richard Branson, however, remains undeterred and defended Virgin Galactic by stating it is 'worth the risk.'

It's a fascinating subject that elicits mixed emotion, so let's hear your thoughts: is space tourism worth the risk? Let us know using the comments facility below.

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HEXUS Forums :: 23 Comments

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Look at the early aircraft……zeplins, the early planes etc…..compare them to what we have today.

You got to task risks to advance.
thousands have died in car accidents - we still use them.

thousands have died on boats - we still use them

thousands have died in aeroplanes - we still use them

a handful of people have died in spacecraft - “oh no, theyre dangerous, ban them, they're dangerous, don't use them” + mass panic and hysteria.

so yeah… what shiathis said. :)
There's a finite amount of stored energy in the world. Setting fire to huge amounts of it just for short-lived jollies seems irresponsible, so it's worth the risk but not worth the waste.
No, not any more. I've asked for a refund on my ticket.
of course it is worth the risk, not least because it is not our place to intervene in what might consider too risky a venture.

the risk to us is a one a billion chance of the wreckage of space-ship two landing on my house, not accidentally opening a wormhole that will engulf mankind!