As tourism on Earth began to slowly start up this year, so too did space travel.
SpaceX was the first company to send an all-civilian flight into space in September 2021. The CEO, Elon Musk, was there waving off the passengers and congratulating them on their return.
Virgin's Richard Branson, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Star Trek's William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk) and even a Russian film crew have all made their way into space in 2021, so surely as the CEO of SpaceX, so too has Elon Musk? Surprisingly, no he hasn't.
Why hasn't Elon Musk been to space?
Elon Musk is the only person in the world at the moment who could actually fly his own rocket out into space and float around Earth for a week, soaking in the views. So, why hasn't he taken that opportunity to be like a real life Avenger?
Well, only Elon Musk can answer this question and he hasn't commented. But, there's a clue from somebody who works with SpaceX.
Garrett Reisman, a retired NASA astronaut and now senior advisor to SpaceX, told The Atlantic that Musk said to him once: "Why would anyone want to go to low-Earth orbit?" And according to Reisman, who has spent more than 100 days in low-Earth orbit, Musk looked deadly serious about this comment.
"Well, I kind of enjoyed it," replied Reisman. At the time, he'd suggested to Musk that SpaceX follow in the footsteps of Boeing in sending one NASA astronaut and one Boeing astronaut into space. He thought it would be a great morale booster and incentive for employees of SpaceX.
"I'm sure he would have a great time," Reisman told The Atlantic. And so what Reisman took from that exchange was that the billionaire doesn't find it impressive enough to reach low-Earth orbit.
I suppose a Russian film crew, the CEO's of other private space companies and William Shatner have all made their way to low-Earth orbit, so it's a bit common now isn't it? (I still wouldn't say no to an invite).
It sounds like Musk is waiting on the next big development for human space ventures - and he's the kind of man who likes to be the first to do it.
"He's not only interested in the thrill of it," added Reisman, who also said he's "given up on trying to predict exactly what Elon is going to do."
"He can announce tomorrow that he's going to hop on the next Dragon and go to the space station," Reisman noted.