Clearly we really want to travel to the moon. And we’re not crazy. Some people have already started planning their summers on the moon. But instead of waiting 100 years, former NASA astronaut Don Thomas says it’s a possibility in just a decade or so. And he predicts space travel will one day be as affordable as a trip to Antartica, he tells Telegraph UK.
“We’re in the building phase right now, new vehicles and facilities. We have commercial space companies who will be sending tourists up. The more people who can get up there to see Earth, the better off our world will be. It takes 15 seconds to look out of the window, and it changes forever the way you look at the planet,” he says.
He’s talking about the new system of Orion spacecraft, scheduled to have its first test launch in 2018. Thomas continues, “With these new vehicles, we will possibly send astronauts back to the moon, but maybe also onto asteroids – and, 25 to 30 years from now, to Mars.”
Thomas says Virgin Galactic may the first. “To go to the Space Station now, as a tourist – you pay the Russians USD 65 million. With Virgin Galactic, the price comes down to a quarter of a million dollars. I would think that, in a decade or so, you will see flights to space for USD 10,000 to USD 15,000.”