Q:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of space tourism?

A:

Space tourism has a number of both benefits and drawbacks. Its advantages include a high public profile, technological innovation and high investor interest. Its disadvantages include a huge initial investment cost and risky operations in a hostile environment.

One of space tourism's biggest advantages as an emerging industry is its newsworthiness. It gains a great deal of public attention with every major step forward it takes. This in turn creates much interest in space tourism ventures by investors, allowing the companies involved to sustain themselves until actual tours are delivered. The nascent industry also benefits from the cutting-edge technology necessary for its operations, allowing it to be a leader in innovation and research.

One of the big drawbacks of space tourism is its very steep initial set-up costs. What the industry is attempting to do, sending humans safely into space and returning them on a regular basis, has never been accomplished by a private entity before. The price for the technology to do so remains astronomically high. Space is also an extremely hostile environment. Even with safety foremost in the plans of the companies involved, the potential for catastrophic disasters that could cost human lives cannot be casually brushed aside.

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