Titanic sinking should serve as a stark warning to the nascent space tourism industry

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Like spacecraft that launch hundreds of miles above the Earth's surface, Titan ships cannot reach deep waters.

Like spacecraft that launch hundreds of miles above the surface of the earth, Titan ships cannot reach deep waters.

Despite the risks associated with extreme tourism, whether it’s a deep-sea dive or a flight to the farthest reaches of space, wealthy billionaires and other privileged people buy their way into harsh environments. I am not deterred. But the recent death of five passengers on a submersible is a sobering event for those planning space visits as part of a growing commercial industry. deaf.

On Thursday, authorities concluded search and rescue operations for missing persons. Titanic The submarine announced that the lives of its crew were lost due to the ship’s catastrophic implosion.The plight of her five people who have been on the submarine for the last five days Giant emphasized that it is often viewed as a frivolous journey where the risks (and costs) outweigh the purpose. Although the latest tragedy occurred thousands of feet below sea level, it’s close to the growing space tourism industry that is taking civilians thousands of feet above the surface.

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The ship was partially built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama as part of an agreement with Oceangate. Giantoperators and space agencies. Giant is made using aerospace-grade carbon fiber, and building the submersible helped NASA learn more about how to create a spacecraft capable of withstanding extreme pressure.

Aside from the similarity of the rides themselves, this kind of extreme tourism is only open to a select few. In fact, one of the billionaires on the ship said, Giant That is explorer Hamish Harding, who previously traveled to the farthest reaches of space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket in June 2022. Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos will travel to sub-orbital heights above the Earth’s surface in 2021 in his phallic rocket to see the ends of the universe. Sky. Bezos became the second billionaire to go to space, nine days ahead of British businessman Richard Branson.

But exclusivity in such travel does not equate to safety. As recent incidents have shown, even a $250,000 ticket doesn’t guarantee a smooth ride. While tickets to space are about the same or slightly more expensive, the industry promises that suborbital travel could soon be offered at much lower prices.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic recently announced that it will begin offering commercial travel to the farthest reaches of space this summer. Tickets for the company’s suborbital spaceplane are $450,000 each. Virgin Galactic has had a tumultuous history with suborbital flight. In 2014, the company’s SpaceShipTwo malfunctioned during flight and crashed, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another.

Another billionaire, Jared Isaacman (for those unaware of the subject here) will be launching a SpaceX Dragon later this year as the first in a series of private space trips. Preparing to board a spaceship. The Polaris Dawn mission will also include the first spacewalk by a civilian crew, with astronauts working in the vacuum of space while tethered to the spacecraft.

Ballooning adventures to the so-called farthest reaches of space are also likely to pose risks to both the crew and paying customers. Both Space Perspective and World View are developing thrilling tourism services that slowly lift passengers into the stratosphere, reaching altitudes of 30 km (19 miles) above the ground.

These flights won’t reach space, the boundary that exists 60 miles (100 km) above the surface of the Earth, but passengers will be able to see the darkness of space and the curvature of the Earth. Japanese startup Iwaya Giken recently unveiled a space balloon capsule that looks strikingly similar to the slingshot vehicles you see at local trade fairs. These future space travel services may not use rockets, but they are experimental and not without risks.

NASA has introduced a set of guidelines for Axiom Space’s commercial crew to the International Space Station (ISS) to regulate some of the details of those trips. Even without direct space agency regulation, the commercial space industry has built on decades of experience and existing frameworks that help inform such private travel.

Yet space is still a risky business, and what’s even more alarming is that perhaps eager passengers aren’t fully aware of the risks.Similar to a waiver signed by an Oceangate passenger Giant, Space travelers will also be required to sign a waiver before boarding a commercial spacecraft, essentially flying at their own risk.

There are few regulations surrounding the space travel industry as it is still relatively new. The Federal Aviation Administration issues commercial space licenses, but its role remains there and there are no further guidelines for onboard crew safety.

The government appears to be on the side of protecting the nascent space industry. A newly passed law in Florida says private space companies such as Blue Origin and SpaceX fear lawsuits will put them out of business, and they have no choice but to protect themselves in the event of crew injuries or deaths. It is a content that exempts legal responsibility.

However, it is becoming clear that the space tourism industry urgently needs regulation. Beyond that, perhaps the wealthy need a harsher reminder that space, like the bottom of the ocean, is an extreme environment not to be taken lightly.

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