If to companies have their way
Then we may see space tourism become a normal routine business practice. Much like anyone taking a trip over the Grand Canyon in a small airplane. It will happen all the time and no one will think twice about it.
Will it become like a carnival ride? It is unlikely that space tourism will be able to generate the flow of customers that carnival rides have. This is mainly due to the extreme cost of sending a rocket into space. Also, the fare would also be too high for most people to take advantage of this new tourism venture.
Rockets are being developed
Two American companies have shown more than a passing interest in this business model. SpaceX and Blue Origin with the latter taking the more serious steps. They are already developing a reusable rocket to handle the workload.
This rocket will hold 6 passengers who can gaze out 6 large observation windows that are being tested right now. The passengers would be able to view the curvature of the Earth and be weightless for about 4 minutes.
The overall flight time would be restricted to 11 minutes in total. Enough to snap a few pictures but not enough to buy souvenirs. Then the rocket will land using independent engines to protect the rocket and the passengers.
There has been some progress
So far Blue Origin has tested 3 separate rockets, all named Shephard. They named this rocket after Alan Shephard, the first American in space. His flight took place in 1961. Each test flight has shown improvement over the previous one.
The researchers are working hard to develop the right engines, etc., to make sure that the passengers are almost 100% safe.
Is this a smart idea
Given the high price tag to send a normal rocket into space, the answer would be in the negative. To send passengers and a rocket in space may cost a lot more than the companies can afford.
Their limited clientele may not be enough to make this venture profitable without charging a whole lot of money. But the heads of the two companies think they can pull it off and avoid going into the red.
One thing is for sure, the regular person would not be able to afford to go. That is the one group that would make this a profitable venture.