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Post at: Aug 13 2021

Suborbital Space Tourism

Why in News

  • Recently on July 11, 2021 Virgin Group founder Richard Branson became the first billionaire to fly to the edge of space and back, riding aboard his own Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity winged spaceship in a suborbital flight.
  • Sirisha Bandla, an astronaut born in India, was a part of the crew. She was the third women of India origin to go to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.

What is Suborbital Flight?

  • When an object travels at a horizontal speed of about 28,000 km/hr or more, it goes into orbit once it is above the atmosphere. Satellites need to reach that threshold speed in order to orbit Earth.
  • Any object travelling slower than 28,000 km/hr. must eventually return to Earth. However, Branson’s spacecraft travelled for enough, to reach the ‘edge of space”.
  • These are suborbital flights because they will not be travelling fast enough to orbit Earth once they there.
  • Such a flight allows space travelers to experience a few minutes of ‘weightlessness’.

Space tourism

  • Space tourism is about humans travelling into space for recreational proposal.
  • It seeks to give laymen the ability to go to space for recreational, leisure or business purposes.

Way forward

  • There are crucial safety, comfort and health factors to consider in space tourism.
  • Space tourism will bolster the entire new space industry. Eg. Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are now spearheading the human endeavor to explore space.
  • Huge potential to create jobs, educating citizens about space and fostering a new solar-based energy infrastructure.​​​​​​​

@  Rahul Yadav

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