The World Travel 2050 Report launched by travel insurer Churchill reveals that space travel will be a serious option for those in search of a new kind of adventure holiday. Although people are already planning to venture to the edge of space (sub-orbital space where a few minutes of weightlessness is possible) by 2008, a truly orbital space holiday (free of the Earth’s gravitational pull) at a space station is only set to become a reality by 2050.
With the average house price soaring to £2 million in 2050, the cost of a week long holiday on an orbital space station will be £575,000 - less than a third (29%) of the average price of a home in the UK. Putting this in today’s terms, where the average house price is £188,944, the cost of a space holiday would be the equivalent of £54,793.
Churchill’s World Travel 2050 Report, issued in conjunction with think tank The Centre for Future Studies, reveals that three quarters of a million Brits will be able to afford the trip. But even then, it will be a holiday only for the most adventurous of explorers:
In the first instance, touronauts (tourist astronauts) will need to travel to Russia - the most likely base camp for launch
A week long trip to space will mean a month off work and a great deal of preparation - touronauts will need to spend two weeks in training for the trip, and one week recovering
Similar to jet lag, ‘space lag’ will mean that the touronaut is likely to suffer from dizziness, weakness and swelling of the body, as well as dehydration and constipation
The space station will offer a back-to-basics style holiday with cramped, smelly and noisy conditions
Touronauts will be expected to help out with day-to-day duties on the space station, including gardening in the hotel vegetable and plant garden to supplement diets. When all duties are done, holiday-makers will have time to enjoy zero-gravity football, space walking and helping to record and monitor stars and galaxies
Mike Ketteringham, Head of Churchill Travel Insurance, commented: “Although there are currently people planning to pay $200,000 for a sub-orbital space flight in 2008, we are looking further afield to a time where holidays to orbital space hotels are possible. A holiday at a research station with hotel facilities won’t be about luxury or high-tech accommodation, but will give people the opportunity to be one of the first people in the world to spend time in space.”
The World Travel 2050 Report also reveals that technological advances will provide the opportunity for substantially faster travel. In fact, an orbital flight to a space station with hotel facilities will take just three and a half hours.
Ketteringham continues: “The World has always been intrigued by the concept of space travel and on-going technological advances mean there will be new possibilities for discerning travellers in 2050 and beyond.”
““By looking into the future at the types of holidays people will be taking, we can predict developments in the travel industry and provide our customers with a product and service that reflects their requirements.”