Wondering why everybody wants to be in space nowadays? Well, humans are smart!
We are learning to breathe in vacuum because obviously there is not much clean air left on our planet. Sounds like a joke right?
But isn’t it arousing enough thoughts? Spending millions and billions on structuring those spaceships for what? Has it become some sort of competition amongst the rich of the richest? Wasn’t golf their leisure activity?
Especially when your fellow beings are starving to death, people are living lives of misery, is it fair to spend bundles of money on nothingness?
Recently Billionaire Elon Musk who has already made a name for his company – SpaceX - in the industry when he became the first private company to launch NASA astronauts to the International Space Station as well as Billionaire entrepreneur, former Amazon CEO and Blue Origin’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, have been in the headlines for their massive planning of going into outer space in their spacecrafts.
But surprise surprise!
Swashbuckling entrepreneur, Richard Branson hurtled into space, aboard his winged rocket ship in his boldest adventure yet, beating out both of his contemporaries on the 11th of July, 2021. “The whole thing, it was just magical”, were the remarks of Branson after a trip back home. Also, the most hysterical piece was Branson denying that he was trying to outdo Bezos. Like of course he was not trying to overtake him but accidentally, he did.
Despite all of the buzz around space tourism, the one thing that remains true is that it is a luxury that no ordinary person can afford but the billionaires.
It might be fascinating for a lot of people to visit outside the planet but one thing that goes without saying is the humongous amount of capital investment needed in, it as the cost of a single roundtrip is enough to burn a hole in your pocket.
Research reads that Branson’s Virgin Galactic charges £250,000 (INR 2.56 crores) for a 90-minute trip to orbital space while Bezos who is worth approximately $205 billion spent almost $5.5B to be in Space for just 4 Minutes. I don’t know about anybody else but this amount did blow my mind off.
Imagine what would it be like if we spend this money on making the lives of the people who are living on the edge of poverty, who could barely afford a hand to mouth, ready to die starving!?
Seems like going on an alien hunt is weighed far more important than delivering urgent aid to the humanitarian crises.
It is undebatable that the hard-earned money, the money that I have made out of my sweat and blood is to be spent for me, on me, by me. But, we cannot be so ignorant of the fact that the lump sum these riches are spending on living an extravagant life can put millions of lives together.
If we look beyond the costing part, the havoc caused by the space tourism on the planet is in the slightest of the vision. A study conducted by Advancing Earth and Space Science found that space rockets can significantly raise temperatures at the poles, due to increased emission of black carbon. Further, it is believed that every rocket launched produces 150 times as much carbon dioxide as a passenger flight. The total carbon produced is approximately 860 million metric tons which is produced each year by the aviation industry globally. All of this just adds to the deteriorating conditions of the planet.
As every coin flipped has another side to it, The Space tourism industry has paved a way for altogether a new era of technological advancements. From satellite monitoring to the quicker transmission of signals to discovering multiple resources which could be useful to mankind in the near future, there is a lot this industry has to offer. Listen to some scientists as they say that scientific knowledge has value beyond the measurement of cost.
But, in search of making a better future for the fore-comers, can we afford to lose our present generation?
It is indeed the right time to sit back and give second thoughts about what really serves the purpose? There is nothing superior to the feeling of being in a position where you can not just think about your own good but also make a difference in the lives of others. This planet deserves the highest.
Sources of reference:
1. Indian express
2. Harvard Business Review (HBR)
3. The Quint