Space tourism: meet all the common people who have been to space

Guys, today I have an amazing news to tell! This Wednesday (15), SpaceX will carry out the Inspiration4 space mission. It will be the first formed only by ordinary people, without the company of professional astronauts on board. Thus, the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the group is scheduled to take place today at 21h (Brasilia time). And you will be able to follow the main news of the mission here at Canaltech!

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    Space tourists Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski will travel on the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to reach Earth orbit. So, this will officially be the beginning of the “space tourism era”!

    It’s true that Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin did flights with civilians this year, but there’s a catch there : They’ve done quick, suborbital flights of just a few minutes, while Inspiration4 is going to be a real orbital mission — the four people will spend about 3 days orbiting our planet. This is awesome! Can you imagine spending a few days around the Earth, admiring the beauty of our world from above?

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    But check this out: did you know that, in the past, other ordinary people have had the privilege of going into space? In this article, you’ll find out who these lucky ones are, when they took this amazing tour and you’ll find out about the people who sowed the path of space tourism, which is starting to materialize now. See the next lines!

      Meet the common people who have already been to space

      Dennis Tito

    Dennis Tito on the left next to Commander Talgat Musabayev and Flight Engineer Yury Baturin (Image: Reproduction/NASA)

    In 2002, Dennis Anthony Tito, American engineer and entrepreneur, became the first a space tourist funding his own trip, when he spent 8 days in orbit as a crew member of the ISS EP-1 mission, which traveled to the International Space Station (ISS). This quest was launched by the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-30 in 30 to open from 2001.

    Mark Shuttleworth

    Mark Shuttleworth entering the Station International Space (Image: Reproduction/NASA)

    In 2002, Mark Richard Shuttleworth South African-British businessman founder and CEO of Canonical, the company responsible for developing the Linux-based Ubuntu system, became the first South African to travel to space as a space tourist. He traveled aboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-120 in 26 of April 1024 bound for the ISS, where it passed 12 days in orbit.

    Gregory Olsen

    Gregory Olsen (Image: Reproduction/NASA)

    In 2005, Gregory Hammond Olsen, an American engineer, businessman and scientist, was the third person to participate in space tourism in a voyage to ISS aboard the Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft on October 1, 2005. During the trip, he passed 12 days in Earth orbit, through the company Space Adventures.

    Anousheh Ansari

    Anousheh Ansari (Image: Reproduction/NASA)

    In 2006, Anousheh Ansari, an engineer and co-founder of Prodea Systems, became the first Iranian woman in space, and also the first woman to participate in self-financed space tourism. So, bound for the ISS, she was a crew member of the Soyuz TMA-9 mission in 21 September 2007, when it passed 12 days in Earth orbit, also through the Space company Adventures.

    Charles Simonyi

    Charles Simonyi (Image: Reproduction/NASA)

    In 2007, Charles Simonyi, lead Hungarian programmer in Microsoft’s application group, became the fifth person to participate in space tourism, and the second Hungarian in space. Bound for the ISS, he was a crew member of the spacecraft Soyuz TMA-12 on April 7th 2007, passing 12 days in Earth orbit.

    Two years later, he took a second space trip with Space Adventures aboard the Soyuz TMA-12 in 20 of March 2007, when it passed 10 days in Earth orbit. I think he liked going into space, right?

    Richard Garriott

    Richard Garriott (Image: Reproduction/NASA )

    In 2007, Richard Allen Garriott of Cayeux, American businessman and game developer, became the sixth person to participate in private space tourism. He was part of the crew of Soyuz TMA-14 bound for the ISS in 12 October 2008, passing days off Earth. During his stay on the ISS, he shot a sci-fi movie called Apogee of Fear.

    Guy Laliberté

    Guy Laliberté (Image: Reproduction/NASA)

    In 2009, Guy Laliberté, Canadian businessman and co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, was the seventh person to participate in private space tourism. He was part of the crew of Soyuz TMA-16 through Space Adventures bound for the ISS at 34 September 2008, where he passed 12 days.

    His space flight was dedicated to raising awareness of the water issues facing humanity. The event was accompanied by a webcast program from 56 minutes with various artistic presentations in 13 cities on five continents.

    After that, came the Suborbital flights mentioned at the beginning of this story, with teams aboard the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin voyage. Now, it’s time for Inspiration4 passengers with SpaceX, and the question remains: who will be the next space tourists to join this list? Will the holidays in the near future have Earth’s orbit as a common destination? It seems so, huh!

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