Pioneers of space tourism: The cosmic travelers of the past and the future

Space tourism is attracting more and more interest, not only among celebrities and famous businessmen but also among ordinary citizens who can afford this luxury. Meet the brave ones who have already conquered space and those who are still awaiting their prime time. The first civilian to go into space was the American billionaire Dennis Tito. After him, other adventurers fulfilled this mission considered impossible until more than two decades ago.

The first space tourists


1. Dennis Tito

The first space tourist in history, Dennis Tito
The first space tourist in history, Dennis Tito

The first space tourist in history, Dennis Tito, traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2001 at the age of 60. It was carried by a Russian Soyuz rocket. Back then, the only company that handled this type of trip was Space Adventures. To make his childhood dream come true, Tito paid $ 20 million and spent 7 wonderful days in space.


2. Mark Shuttleworth

South African computer scientist and businessman Mark Shuttleworth (right)
South African computer scientist and businessman Mark Shuttleworth (right)

South African computer scientist and businessman Mark Shuttleworth conquered space a year after Tito, in April 2002. The man paid the same amount of money but was in space for eight days. It was carried by the Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft. Shuttleworth not only enjoyed the adventure but also took this unique opportunity to assess the impact of zero gravity on stem cell and embryo development.


3. Greg Olsen

American millionaire Greg Olsen
American millionaire Greg Olsen

American millionaire Greg Olsen became the third civilian to fly into space. He paid the same price as his predecessors and traveled in the same ship as Tito and Shuttleworth.

The tourist came to the ISS in 2005. But before doing so, he had trained for two years. In the end, he spent 9 days in space.


4. Anousheh Ansari

Iranian-American engineer co-founder and president of Prodea Systems Inc, Anousheh Ansari
Iranian-American engineer co-founder and president of Prodea Systems Inc, Anousheh Ansari

Iranian-American engineer co-founder and president of Prodea Systems Inc, Anousheh Ansari, became the world's first space tourist. He made his trip on September 18, 2006, and spent 12 days in space. The woman also traveled in a Soyuz rocket with a crew consisting of Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts. He disbursed 20 million dollars for his trip.


5. Charles Simonyi

Hungarian software engineer Charles Simonyi
Hungarian software engineer Charles Simonyi

Hungarian software engineer Charles Simonyi is the only civilian to have traveled to the ISS twice: on April 7, 2007, and on March 26, 2009. In his two missions, he spent a total of 25 days in space. The exact price the millionaire paid is not known. In 2007 the media reported that it had been $ 25 million. But Simonyi did not confirm it.


6. Richard Garriott


British-American businessman and video game designer Richard Garriott flew into space in October 2008 and spent 12 days there. The man spent more than the first tourists, 30 million dollars. It seems that traveling to space was his destiny as his father is former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott.


7. Guy Laliberte

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte became Canada's first space tourist on September 30, 2009. In the end, he spent 11 days in space. The trip cost him approximately $ 35 million.


Future space tourists


1. Jeff Bezos


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the latest civilian to announce his trip to space. Supposedly, he will be among the crew of the first flight of the New Shepard spacecraft developed by his space company, Blue Origin.


The mission is set for July 20. Bezos younger brother Mark will also join the crew, the company reported. Blue Origin also held a public auction for a seat on the rocket.


"Since I was five years old I have dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20 I will do this trip with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend," Bezos wrote on his Instagram account.


2. Richard Branson


British billionaire and Virgin Galactic space company founder Richard Branson is setting out to send tourists into space and is also waiting his turn. You have long dreamed of being one of the first passengers in your company. The trip is expected to take place this year.


3. Jared Isaacman


The CEO of payment processing company Shift4 Payments and jet pilot, Jared Isaacman, is financing the trip scheduled for the near future by Elon Musk's company, SpaceX.


4. Hayley Arceneaux


Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old medical assistant who works at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a survivor of bone cancer as a child, would be the youngest American space tourist. In addition, he would become the first person with a prosthesis to fly into space.

Currently, Arceneaux, Isaacman, and other crew members are preparing for the trip.

But there are more civilians who are considering conquering space and whose names will be revealed over time.


The American company Space Adventures collaborates with the Federal Space Agency of Russia (Roscosmos) to carry out a mission of the Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS in 2023. They are considering giving tourists the opportunity to take a spacewalk.


In addition, Space Adventures plans to make a trip by the end of 2021 with the help of the Crew Dragon space rocket manufactured by the SpaceX company. In May 2020, Crew Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to send NASA astronauts into space. But the company wants to go further and plans to use it for tourism. SpaceX offers a seat for about $ 50 million.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All