Space tourism, also known as space travel and space exploration, is the commercialization of space exploration and space-related activities with the aim of accessing space for tourism activities The concept of space tourism involves people travelling to space as tourists and participating in activities such as space walks, spacecraft assembly, and extra-vehicular activity. The concept also encompasses activities like high altitude ballooning, suborbital and orbital flight, and spaceflight beyond the Earth's atmosphere.
Space tourism is still in its early stages and there are no large-scale space tourism ventures yet. However, there are a few destinations which offer space tourism-related activities and experiences. Some of the best examples of these destinations are SpacePort America, Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex, Zero Gravity Corporation, Alaska Spaceport, and the International Space Station.
SpacePort America is located in New Mexico and is the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport. It offers space-tourism related activities like aerobatic flights and zero gravity flights, where passengers can experience simulated spaceflight. The spacecraft used for these flights is the White Knight Two, a two-seat aircraft designed for suborbital flights.
The Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex is located in Florida and offers visitors an up-close and personal experience of Space Shuttle launches, as well as an interactive rocket launch simulator. The complex also houses the Apollo/Saturn V Centre, where visitors can take part in the Apollo launch experience and relive the historic events of the first manned lunar mission.
The Zero Gravity Corporation is based in Virginia and specializes in conducting zero gravity flights aboard its specially-designed aircraft, the G-Force One. These flights give passengers a unique weightless experience and allow them to experience the gravity-free environment of space and conduct various experiments.
Alaska Spaceport is located near Anchorage, Alaska, and offers skydiving and zero gravity flights. The facility also offers educational tours and seminars on space travel and exploration.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a research facility located in low-Earth orbit and comprises the largest orbiting human-made structure. The ISS offers a variety of activities for tourists such as viewing the Earth from the Cupola, taking part in a simulated spacewalk, and viewing the night sky from the ISS.
Overall, space tourism is an exciting new frontier and offers a unique experience for those looking for a change of pace from the ordinary. With the increasing number of destinations offering space-related activities and experiences, space travel is sure to become a popular activity amongst adventure seekers.