Travel Space tourists fly at their own risk - nobody is regulating their safety. Experts say ticket-holders are accepting their role in an 'experiment'
Alaska just joined the Oneworld alliance alongside American Airlines, British Airways, and 11 other carriers - here's why that's great for flyers
Frequent Alaska flyers can look forward to more upgrade opportunities, increased cooperation between airlines, and better international connections.Airline alliances are built on the premise that not a group of carriers can better connect the world than just one can. Each of America's three largest international airlines belongs to an airline alliance but the Oneworld alliance is now the only one to include two American carriers: American and Alaska.
- This month, billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson blasted into sub-orbital flights.
- Space law experts told insider Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic ticket-holders fly at their own risk.
- Federal agencies do not plan to regulate the flights till at least 2023 in order to give the companies freedom to innovate.
When billionairesand blasted off into space it represented the dawn of space tourism for many, but experts say the industry is far from ready for the masses.
Seychelles and the Maldives were hailed as early vaccination and pandemic tourism success stories. Both just reported the highest global COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
Both island nations are tightening restrictions - from closing schools to imposing curfews - but still allowing entry to international tourists.Seychelles and the Maldives, both known for their luxury resorts and white sandy beaches, have reported more new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days than any other countries, according to The New York Times' coronavirus tracker.
There are currently no regulations for Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic space flights when it comes to anything from passenger safety to air traffic and environmental pollution. Space law experts told Insider the industry is still too new to be heavily regulated and federal agencies will likely take many years to develop policies to make trips to the edge of space as safe as a flight across the country.
The Federal Aviation Administration has the authority to regulate commercial travel to outer space through its, but Congress has through 2023 on regulating the industry.
, a professor of Space Law at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told Insider the government is attempting to protect the industry in its infancy so that innovators like Bezos, Branson, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk can have the freedom to develop new technology and test as many flights as possible, unfettered by heavy government regulations.
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Disneyland is one of those rare places that offers fun and entertainment for everyone, from bright-eyed kids to well-traveled adults. A trip there is on every kid’s wishlist and planning a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth is a rite of passage for every parent. While the park is currently restricted to California residents …While the park is currently restricted to California residents only, that will likely change when the state reopens on June 15. With a potential widespread reopening around the corner, many of you have been reaching out with questions about planning a trip to Disneyland.
As it stands, individuals that currently purchase space tourism tickets must sign anand a series of waivers releasing the companies from liability if the ticket-holders are injured or killed.
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Spokespeople from Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic did not respond to a request for comment. But, the director of McGill's Institute of Air and Space Law,told Insider that those who purchase tickets for Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic flights are acknowledging their participation in an experiment and are not classified as "passengers" but rather as "flight participants."
Von der Dunk said that while the space-tourism companies will not be held responsible for any injuries or fatalities suffered by flight participants, the companies are being held to high standards when it comes to third parties on the ground. The groups are subject to thorough reviews before each flight to ascertain the spacecrafts will not cause any damage to innocent bystanders on their departure or reentry to the launch area.
What is lost when Buddhist temples lose their tourists?
The pandemic has slowed tourism to Thailand's Buddhist temples, but the impact is more than economic.In Thailand alone, a country where tourism accounts for 11%-12% of the GDP, the number of international tourists dropped by 83% in 2020. During December 2020—typically a peak tourism month—the country received just over 6,000 foreign tourists—a 99.8% drop from December 2019, when there were nearly 4 million foreign tourists.
"The safety of the passengers is not under consideration during the reviews," Von der Dunk said. "They know they're participating in a risky thing. The main concern for regulators is that no third parties are impacted."
While flights will not be regulated until at least 2023, Jakhu said federal agencies might step in sooner than that if there are a series of fatalities. He said that he believes the industry will not be regulated until a serious accident occurs.
"No matter how competent the companies are, what can go wrong, will go wrong," Jakhu said. "I'm sure someday soon there will be an accident. Blue Origin's rocket is essentially four people sitting on a bomb and accidents happen."
In 2014, federal safety investigators stepped in after aduring a test flight. The company was charged with fixing its air-breaking descent device, which had deployed too early during the flight.
As space tourism becomes more popular, the FAA will also have to figure out a way to regulate the air traffic so that it does not conflict with airplane schedules. The industry will also be forced to look into regulations regarding
Jakhu and Von der Dunk told Insider they would advise ticket-holders to look into procuring life insurance before a space tour - though the policies could be more expensive than the flight ticket itself due to the risk involved with launching a rocket.
How bad is space tourism for the environment? And other space travel questions, answered. .
Six questions to consider before launching yourself into space.For many, the rise of commercial space tourism is a vulgar display of wealth and power. Amid several global crises, including climate change and a pandemic, billionaires are spending their cash on launching themselves into space for fun. When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told reporters after his first space tourism trip on Tuesday that Amazon customers and employees had “paid” for his flight, that only intensified that criticism.