9 thoughts on “The Real Human Exploration Of The Solar System”

  1. Enh, they weren’t the first tourists in space. Did they do any exploring?

    I think people will/would find a trip like this with SpaceX as more fulfilling than what BO and Virgin have right now but is this really THE moment. No.

    Usually with big shifts like we are expecting, there is no moment to point to at the time. It is only after time has past that we can pinpoint a critical juncture and even then, there is much debate. This is because there are very few switches in history and instead we get complex series of actions carried out over time by many different actors. The writing at the link is a manifestation of the Over Night Success Effect.

    What SpaceX did is a milestone and it has significance as such but it isn’t the REAL start because I don’t think the event is all that big a deal in determining the future course of events. It is evidence of something larger at play that began some time ago but who could say exactly when critical actions were put in play or decisions made?

  2. I agree with Wodun. Progress getting humans out into space is coming along nicely, but there isn’t “one shining moment” that gets all the credit.

    That being said, Inspiration 4 provides another loud and proud public moment showing that private space is leading the way. The pace is quickening and the trajectory is upward.

    1. Our solar system is big.

      How about the first month in orbit living in artificial gravity?

      One also say first time we spent months in microgravity.
      Hmm I don’t when that was:
      “Persons to spend one week in space
      Gordon Cooper
      Pete Conrad
      Gemini 5 United States USA 21 August 1965 –
      29 August 1965”
      “People to spend two weeks in space
      Andrian Nikolayev
      Vitali Sevastyanov
      Soyuz 9 Soviet Union USSR 1 June 1970 –
      19 June 1970”
      “People in orbit for four weeks
      Pete Conrad
      Joseph Kerwin
      Paul Weitz
      Skylab 2 United States USA 25 May 1973 –
      22 June 1973”
      “People in orbit for eight weeks
      Alan Bean
      Jack Lousma
      Owen Garriott
      Skylab 3 United States USA 28 July 1973 –
      25 September 1973”

  3. In some sense, the first “space tourists” were “Barfin’ Jake” Garn and “Ballast” Nelson. Both didn’t spend months (years?) in training and had no background in aeronautics or some other useful specialty training.

    And I would be surprised if the re-enactments of the X-15 and of Project Mercury-Redstone are repeated more than a handful of times in the next year or so. Their window of opportunity opened over a decade ago, and they never took advantage of it until it started to close.

  4. Just gotta say that NASA is a collaborator on the commercialization of human spaceflight. They’re still handing out the biggest checks.

    That said, I expect space hasn’t seen the last of Jared Isaacman.

  5. The firt unquestionable space tourist was Toyohiro Akiyama, a TBS newscaster who flew on Soyuz TM-11, December 1990, paid for by his network. Then Helen Sharmn on Soyuz TM-12, the following May, supposedly paid for by a group of British companies, but the Soviet government covered the shortfall (so a footnoted entry.

    If you include NASA payload specialists, I’d have to count Charles Walker, who flew on three Shuttle missions in 1984 and 1985.

  6. When people begin living in-orbit doing commercial construction in space. The first mission of that type I will mark as the break-out.

    THIS mission I mark as the first mission that was DEDICATED solely as a tourist mission. That isn’t to say tourism won’t be lucrative. But it’s unclear it builds a space infrastructure. After all, to do short LEO trips, we already have the infrastructure needed.

    I have to say I was a bit disappointed in Inspiration 4. Once on orbit the charitable message got put into the closet. I think some more effort to put St. Jude’s message out was in order. Maybe even a 0g cancer experiment. Hayley Arceneaux’s life story is particularly inspiring.

    But maybe some of the crew got sick? If that’s the case I respect their privacy. But if you are billing it as an inspirational flight for charity, there is some responsibility to follow through IMO.

    For future tourist missions, there really doesn’t *have* to be an inspiration to it. Other than the thrill of being in space for those willing to pay. In other words, Karen’s can go to hell.

    1. Fully agree on the Karens.

      I giving a 100% pass on anything that Inspiration 4 did or did not do. It was Jared’s mission, and he could do it the way he wanted. Nice that St Judes and the outside world got to share part of it.

      The first dedicated orbital tourist mission. That’s a big deal. And it’s a step change from hitchhiking rides on government rockets/missions. (as a footnote, I’ll acknowledge the huge amount of money that NASA put up to develop commercial crew. That money made this possible).

    2. I think unsuccessful orbital landing of Starship- will be pretty important- if it gets to ocean surface more or less intact. And whenever Starship follows with the proper landing.
      But in order to it not being confined to Earth orbit- it has to re-fuel in orbit.
      And it seems refueling in orbit will be big in number ways.
      It will appear that only way to send crew to Mars is by refueling, and people might also consider this as only way to go the Moon {despite Apollo program not doing this}.

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