"People want to go to space, people should go to space, because they come back changed," said Richard Branson, the Virgin-brand billionaire who launched his space tourism business in 2004.
His space company, Blue Origin, hopes to launch tourists in a reusable vehicle by year's end — but the company has yet to start selling tickets.
When the NASA's Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, astronauts had only one way to get to the international space station: hitch a ride on the Russian Soyuz.
But NASA wants American space taxis – so it hired two companies, SpaceX and Boeing.
SpaceX, the vision of Tesla founder Elon Musk, has built reusable rockets and a sleek space capsule called Crew Dragon.
But like Boeing, SpaceX is two years behind schedule, offering only vague promises about when it will fly astronauts.
Redundant space access and rockets flying tourists is a giant leap from the footprints Apollo 11 left behind fifty years ago.