In the near future, a trip into space may be comparable in cost to a high-end hunting trip. Big-game hunters now spend up to $125,000 to bag a single male lion in Africa.

That compares to the $97,000-$200,000 which companies like XCOR and Virgin Galactic plan to charge for a suborbital flight.

Also comparable is the $70,000-100,000 cost of climbing Mt. Everest.

Space cynics say that interest in suborbital spaceflight will decline quickly after the first few flights, when the “novelty” wears off, and disappear completely when the first fatal accident occurs.

But hunters don’t spend $125,000 because they think they will be the first to kill a lion. Trophy hunting has been going on for well over a century, and trophy hunters have taken more than 5,000 lions in the past decade.

Yet, interest in hunting lions continues even though costs are increasing. By contrast, the cost of spaceflight is expected to decline over time.

And citizen explorers continue to climb Mt. Everest, even though more than 1% die in the attempt.

Written by Astro1 on December 29th, 2012 , Citizen Exploration

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