“WHAT IS PROGRESS” – Estelle Denis invites RMC listeners and RMC Story viewers to a new talk show of opinions and debates.
The Inspiration4 mission, due to take off on Wednesday, will mark the fourth time SpaceX has sent humans into space, but for the first time it will only be private passengers. Liftoff is expected to take place on Wednesday from 20:02 (00:02 GMT Thursday) from NASA’s legendary Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
On board: American billionaire Jared Isaacman. This 38-year-old head of a financial company is an experienced pilot. He decided to offer three places to anonymous people.
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, is a childhood cancer survivor and now works at St Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was treated as a child. Chris Sembroski, 42, is a former US Air Force veteran who now works in the aviation industry. And finally, Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old earth science teacher, was among the finalists to become a NASA astronaut in 2009.
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So it’s people like you and me who go into orbit aboard a Crew Dragon capsule from Space X, a company owned by Elon Musk. They will go 575 km from Earth, much further than the International Space Station. The trip will last three days in total, from takeoff to landing. During these three days, they will be able to admire the land from two portholes and a glass dome before entering the atmosphere. You don’t have to be claustrophobic, because the capsule is nine square meters. Not too big for 4 people.
The most coveted room will be… the bathrooms, with a huge glass ceiling overlooking the Earth. It takes a lot of faith in the technology, as there will be no professional on board, the entire flight will be managed by the capsule’s piloting system and SpaceX’s ground command station. They still had to train for several months to get used to the flying conditions.
And during the flight, we will analyze your sleep, your heart rate, your cognitive abilities to better understand the effect of the trip on your body, the idea is to serve as “guinea pigs” for future space tourists.
More and more tourist flights?
And that’s just the beginning. Tourist space flights will multiply in the coming years.
It is a project among others, but the ISS wants to receive tourists. We can also mention the six-day trip around the moon aboard a shuttle designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which should take place in 2023. In 2027, we could even take a vacation in a space hotel. .
Called the “Voyager Station”, it looks like a Ferris wheel in an amusement park, made up of 24 small capsules, which are all housing modules, rooms and living rooms, and which will be able to accommodate up to 400 people, several hundred kilometers from Earth.
Space tourists, like you or me, as long as they have a few million euros to invest in a ticket. They envision it as a kind of cruise ship, but in space. Restaurant, cinema, spa, gym… Inside, an artificial gravity close to the moon, where gravity is six times less than that of the Earth, makes it possible to make incredible leaps that would allow you to experience certain activities in new conditions. And obviously a room with a view not of the sea, but of the Earth.
>> READ ALSO – A hotel in space by 2027?
It sells dreams, but it’s still a delusion of billionaires with completely crazy economic and ecological costs.
An economic cost, because the price of tickets is in the millions of euros. For suborbital flights, in the long term, it will be around 30,000 euros according to Richard Branson, which still limits the clientele. And then the ecological cost. The fuel used, kerosene or liquid hydrogen, burned on takeoff, emits large amounts of CO2 and chemicals and soot before leaving the atmosphere. According to an estimate made by French researchers, a full flight to the international space station emits the CO2 equivalent of 638 years of emissions from an average car that would travel 15,000 km per year.
When it comes to scientific missions and space conquest, it can be justified, for tourism it is more complicated.