Post #8: Fancy a trip to space?

For many (your author included), having the opportunity to visit space has been a long-held dream. Now, after many false dawns, it is becoming an increasing…

Post #8: Fancy a trip to space?

For many (your author included), having the opportunity to visit space has been a long-held dream. Now, after many false dawns, it is becoming an increasing reality. For those who missed it, at the weekend SpaceX successfully docked a capsule at the International Space Station. What made this mission unprecedented, however, was its payload: a spacecraft designed to carry humans. On this occasion, it contained only 400 pounds of cargo and a mannequin named Ripley (in homage to the film ‘Alien’), but humans could be next.

A combination of better materials, reusable rockets and scale economies means that space is becoming easier to access. Against this background, four different companies (Blue Origin, Boeing, SpaceX and Virgin) have all announced plans to commercialise space and usher in an era of tourism. Back in 2001, American multimillionaire Dennis Tito became the first space tourist, flying to the International Space Station, for a reputed cost of $20m. Six other people have followed in his footsteps, but none since 2009. 

However, more than 700 people have bought tickets on Virgin Galactic at a cost between $200,000 and $250,000 (~£150,000-190,000). There will be six passengers on each flight, each of whom will get to experience several minutes of weightlessness while taking in the views. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has also confirmed its first passenger (a Japanese billionaire) and has said that flights may be possible from July. Already, two NASA astronauts have begun training for Musk’s missions. It seems likely that Blue Origin (backed by Jeff Bezos) and Boeing will likely be close behind. Before we all get too excited and start cancelling our summer holiday plans, do not forget that things will go wrong. The technology is still maturing, launch costs are significant (as would be civilian tickets for short flights), crashes happen and even the term ‘space tourism’ could be considered misleading; it can lull people into believing that such ventures are routine and low-risk, whereas the opposite is currently true. These concerns won’t put everyone off; time to start saving for that first trip to space… 


The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881
email [email protected] 

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Related Insights

Featured Insights
Featured Insights22 July 2021

Season 3, Post 29: Quiz time

Your one and only question is the following: what do electric vehicles and plant-based burgers have in common? The answer: they’re both getting better the whole time. As improvements to these products occur, so adoption levels should increase. This intriguing analogy was made to us by the Chief Executive of Meatless Farm, Morten Toft Bech, […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights15 July 2021

Season 3, Post 28: The magic of mushrooms

Mycelium-tech could be the next big thing. You might think you are familiar with the humble mushroom. Fried, they work well as a breakfast option, for example. Alternatively, they could perhaps be chopped into a pasta dish or salad. However, when you buy mushrooms in your local store or – even better – see them […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights06 July 2021

Season 3, Post 27: Take a trip on the hyperloop

Imagine being able to get from central London to Edinburgh in less than an hour, or from downtown New York to San Francisco in fewer than five. Think of all that extra time you would save. Travelling the former route by train currently takes close on four hours, while, a coast-to-coast US trip might require […]

Learn more

Get The Updates

Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right


Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.