The News Today
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12.10.19
Cost of Travel

The Toll Casual Space Tourism Will Take on the Planet (Updated)

November 16th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Off World
SpaceX/Victor Tangermann

Editor’s note 11/18/2019: After its publication, the figures cited in this story were re-reviewed, and were determined to be inadequately sourced and calculated. As such, we’ve retracted the story, and left the struck version of the story beneath for transparency. Futurism regrets the error.

Scorched Earth

Space companies trying to make off-world tourism a thing will likely cause major environmental destruction in the process.

That’s because a single SpaceX Falcon 9 launch emits as much carbon dioxide as 395 transatlantic flights, Common Dreams reports. And with SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and others planning to ramp up their space tourism efforts, they could become a major force exacerbating global climate change.

Burning Bridges

Travel company Champion Traveler did the actual math, and the numbers look grim.

Just one space flight emits as much CO2 as 73 cars typically do over the course of an entire year, and SpaceX has two dozen launches planned just to establish its Starlink satellite network. Add in all the other space companies’ launches, and you get a whole lot of greenhouse gases poised to burn our atmosphere away.

But hey, if the world’s going to burn, you might as well get a sick view of it from the shuttle’s window seat.

READ MORE: New Analysis Shows Billionaires’ Dream of Space Tourism Would Be Disaster for Emissions, Climate Crisis [Common Dreams]

More on space tourism: Virgin Galactic’s Plan: Send Tourists to Space Every 32 Hours