Science fiction novelists pegged space exploration to happen as early as 2001 and it has yet to happen. Sadly, space tourism -- the basic model of hopefully-soon interplanetary tourism -- is still beyond anyone's reach even if humanity goes past the year 2020.
According to futurists and tech analysts, technological limitations make space tourism or space travel itself quite challenging. According to ABC News Australia's interview with space flight analyst Dr. Morris Jones, 2020 is still a year when casual space travel would still be part of science fiction. Dr. Jones stresses the impracticality of present space exploration technologies.
Dr. Jones cited the folly of Virgin's philanthropist Richard Branson and his 14-year project that has yet to send one of Virgin's spacecrafts into practical use as a casual space flight for high-end customers. Rockets remain impractical for casual space travel as they consume huge amounts of expensive rocket fuel, yet Elon Musk-run SpaceX and China's own space program both concentrate on the development of these technologies.
To lower the costs of space travel, fuel efficiency is necessary. According to Travel Wires, one space technology company is looking at the sun for answers. SolarStratos in Switzerland intends to use solar energy to power their spacecraft at least until the stratosphere -- or the edge of the Earth where one can view the planet's curve that proves it is circular in nature -- and view nearby planets and stars. However, each trip can cost about $10 million minimum.
Travel Wires cites Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg who said space tourism is still -- in a positive note -- "fascinating" enough to be "blossoming over the next couple of decades" as a "viable commercial market." Regardless if Muilenburg intends to create hype in the industry to ramp up research, rockets and solar energy are still a great ways off to accomplish man's dreams of stratosphere travel and eventual casual vacations in the nearby Mars or sightseeing asteroids.