Space tourism could be $800bn market as Jeff Bezos takes off in Blue Origin rocket

·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
(FILES) This file handout photo taken on April 24, 2015 obtained courtesy of Blue Origin shows Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, at New Shepard's West Texas launch facility before the rocket's maiden voyage.

 Jeff Bezos sets his sights on a new frontier in space in the coming days after building a gargantuan business empire which has in many ways conquered the Earth. - == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE  / MANDATORY CREDIT:
Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, at New Shepard's West Texas launch facility before the rocket's maiden voyage in 2015. Photo: AFP PHOTO / BLUE ORIGIN

Where are you going for your next holiday? How about the moon?

Experts believe space tourism could blossom into a multi-billion-dollar market within the next decade. It comes as billionaire trailblazers Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos pioneer commercial flights outside of the earth's atmosphere.

Amazon (AMZN) founder Bezos, the world's richest man, successfully completed a trip to space on Tuesday on a rocket made by his own private space exploration company Blue Origin.

Bezos completed a roughly 10-minute trip to space on Thursday accompanied by his brother, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old veteran of the original space race, and 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen.

The trip comes just days after fellow billionaire Sir Richard Branson completed a similar trip on a Virgin Galactic (SPCE) ship.

(FILES) In this combination of file pictures created on July 1, 2021 shows Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos (L) speaking on October 22, 2019 after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award during the the 70th International Astronautical Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson speaking at an event to unveil the first commercial space wear in Yonkers, New York, on October 16, 2019. He's always dreamed of it, and in 2004 founded his own company to make it happen. On July 11, 2021, billionaire Richard Branson will take off from a base in New Mexico aboard a Virgin Galactic vessel bound for the edge of space. The Briton is hoping to finally get the nascent space tourism industry off the ground -- but also go one up on Jeff Bezos by winning the race to be the first person to cross the final frontier in a ship built by their own company.
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, left, and fellow billionaire Sir Richard Branson have both pioneered private space travel. Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN AND Don EMMERT

Along with Tesla (TSLA) boss Elon Musk, who runs SpaceX, the mega-wealthy trio are pioneering a private space industry that one day hopes to offer commercial services to the masses.

Analysts at investment bank UBS said on Tuesday that space tourism could become a reality for ordinary folk "in the not too distant future".

"While space tourism is still nascent, we think it will become mainstream as the technology becomes proven and cost falls," analysts wrote in a note circulated to clients just hours before Bezos' trip on The New Shepherd rocket. "By c2030, we estimate space tourism will be a $3bn-plus p.a. opportunity growing at double digit-rates."

Watch: Republican Don Beyer on the new US space race

Space tourism is predicted to be just one part of a $805bn market by the start of the next decade. The other major opportunity is long-haul flights via space.

While it might sound far-fetched, UBS analysts said hotel companies, airlines, and tour operators should start thinking about space now before it's too late.

"Like many other new disruptive segments (e.g., internet, digital photography), it is not the risk-averse incumbents that are the first movers, but new players," analysts wrote. "One could ask whether, at that point, it will be too late for incumbents to engage."

Watch: Blue Origin rocket successfully lands with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on board