According to ANU cosmologist and astrophysicist Dr. Brad Tucker, the race to bring tourists into space is heating up as Virgin Galactic has launched its third spaceflight and the first from its New Mexico port.
“Virgin Galactic is really the only company focussed on just tourism, so fair their previous flights have only centered out of California the Mojave Desert, but they have always had a second port out in New Mexico, and this is where they’ve launched for the third time,” he told Sky News.
“This is a huge step because what Virgin Galactic really wants is, just like Virgin Airlines, serving multiple cities and locations, multiple people going up, and they’re really trying to push to get their first commercial flight.”
Dr. Tucker said an issue with spaceflights like Virgin Galactic wants to do is uncertainty about the company’s “carriage responsibilities”. There are issues regarding how doctors will treat space tourists if something goes wrong.
“There are some obligations, but there are a lot of waivers that say not only if something happens in space but what happens if they get sick or if they don’t adapt well to it and they come back down and have a health problem.”