Likewise with the advent of manned space flight in the 1960’s it seemed an opportunity for only the very select few.
And then came along the birth of Space Tourism with the first paying passenger in 2001, Californian businessman Dennis Tito who went to the International Space Station via a Russian Soyuz capsule at a cost of $20 million (£14 million) – still an out of this world price tag out of the reach of most mere mortals.
However, don’t despair all you would be astronauts as the price war may well just be starting!
Currently you can book your place for a flight into space with Virgin Galactic on Space Ship Two at a cost of $200,000. But you might want to wait a while before putting down your deposit, as just announced this week is a joint venture between Space Adventures and Armadillo Aerospace to provide suborbital space flights at half the price – just $102,000.
The Armadillo rocket ship which will take off vertically from a spaceport in the United States, will take passengers to a height of over 62 miles (100 kilometers), to the point where space begins. With engines then shut down, the ‘astronauts’ onboard will experience up to five minutes of weightlessness and also get to gaze out into the blackness of Space and to see the Earth's horizon below.
Just how low the cost of a suborbital flight will go is anyone’s guess – perhaps no lower for a while yet until more players are in the market, but I think I will hold on to my hard earned money for a while and wait to see what happens!