Space tourism is a concept that is gaining popularity largely due to technological advancement and embracement by private investors. The main challenge facing the industry is safety. Many experts have argued that private developers have concealed their security policies and protocols thus making their intentions appear dubious.
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The space tourism industry is in its infancy and insurance companies have not yet developed policies and procedures to cover risks associated with it (Bensoussan 1633). The development of affordable policies and effective safety measures are inevitable steps towards the development of space tourism.
In the emerging space tourism industry, safety will play a key role in determining whether it flourishes or dies. Investors are faced by great challenges because focusing on safety implies increased costs that could hamper their development strategies and plans (Bensoussan 1636). Obsessing over safety will hold back further development and stop the space exploration quest that has been resurrected (Foust par. 2).
It is important for the U.S. government to create an agency to regulate the safety of space tourism vehicles. Past cases of spaceship accidents have supplied lessons regarding the importance of safety in space exploration. The safety of crew and tourists should be prioritized. However, it should not hinder the developments that are being made in the industry.
Several safety issues that are not present in the present aviation system may arise. For instance, insurance, effect on people’s health, and aircraft tracking systems are issues that are absent or poorly managed in the present aviation industry. Developing advanced tracking systems and creating affordable insurance policies are important aspects that should be considered if the venture is to flourish (Bowler par. 6). Poor tracking systems have resulted in failure to recover airplanes after getting involved in accidents.
In the case of space tourism, developing advanced tracking and navigation systems is important for the improvement of safety. In addition, space is vast and the exploration done so far has not yet scratched its surface (Bachman par. 7). Therefore, diving in fully without taking precautionary measures is dangerous because of the unknown risks that have not yet been unearthed.
There is need for more space exploration before bids to take people to space begin. It is important for all stakeholders involved in the industry to deal with the risks and challenges that come with launching into unknown territories (Courage par. 4). There are several health risks involved with space travel that are not part of the current aviation industry (Bachman par. 8). More research needs to be conducted regarding the risk of space travel on people’s health.
If given the chance, I would not go to space because I feel that current safety policies and measures that have been put in place are obscure and ineffective. The space tourism industry has encountered several hitches in the past that provided proof enough that the industry is not yet developed to the point of transporting people to space without considerable risk (Taylor par. 4).
The disintegration of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003 and the explosion of Galactic Spaceship in 2014 provided evidence that more research needs to be done (Bachman par. 3). Space tourism as it is today is shrouded in mystery and secrecy because companies involved in the venture have remained silent regarding their security protocols and policies. In addition, lack of insurance policies for space tourists makes it difficult to take the risk.
Bachman, Justin. The Virgin Galactic Crash and the Risks of Space Tourism. 2014. Web.
Bensoussan, Denis. “Space Tourism Risks: A Space Insurance Perspective.” Acta Astronautica 66 (2010): 1633-1638. Print.
Bowler, Tim. How Safe Can We Really Make Space for Future Tourists? 2014. Web.
Courage, Katherine. Can Space Tourism Companies Keep Their Customers Safe and Healthy? 2014. Web.
Foust, Jeff. Balancing Safety and Cost in commercial Human Spaceflight. 2014. Web.
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Taylor, Chris. Space Travel is Dangerous. There Will be No Tourists. 2014. Web.