Capitalism in space: A high orbital tourist flight on SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has been cancelled because the company organizing it, Space Adventures, apparently failed to find enough customers.
Company spokesperson Stacey Tearne confirmed to SpaceNews that the company had dropped plans for the mission. “The mission was marketed to a large number of our prospective customers, but ultimately the mix of price, timing and experience wasn’t right at that particular time and our contract with SpaceX expired,” she said. “We hope to revisit the offering in the future.”
This revises the list of scheduled of orbital tourist flight that began with SpaceX’s Inspiration4 flight in September.
- September 15, 2021: SpaceX’s Dragon capsule flew four private citizens on a three day orbital flight
- October 5-17, 2021: Two Russians fly to ISS for 12 days to shoot a movie
- December 2021: The Russians will fly billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant to ISS for 12 days
- January/February 2022: Axiom, using a Dragon capsule, will fly four tourists to ISS
- 2022-2024: Three more Axiom tourist flights on Dragon to ISS
- 2024: Axiom begins launching its own modules to ISS, starting construction of its own private space station
- c2024: SpaceX’s Starship takes Yusaku Maezawa and several others on a journey around the Moon.
Why Space Adventures could not get enough customers for their Dragon flight is unclear. It could be for many reasons outside of not enough demand. For example, SpaceX might have determined that the prospective customers were not physically capable for the flight. Maybe Space Adventures sold two or three tickets, but couldn’t fill the manifest before their SpaceX contract expired.
The cancellation however does suggest that the price per ticket might have to come down to garner business for orbital tourist space flights. Or those flights need to arrive at a space station where the passengers can spend more than two or three days.
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