Space tourism refers to the concept of ordinary individuals travelling into outer space for recreational purposes. Although space travel has traditionally been the domain of governments and professional astronauts, the development of reusable rockets and private spaceflight companies has made it possible for ordinary people to experience space travel.
Historically, the field of astronautics has been men-dominated, with a relatively small number of women participating in space missions and with the contributions of women engineers or mathematicians being overlooked. This has begun to change in recent years, with an increasing number of women being selected as astronauts. However, there is still a significant gender gap in the field, with women making up just over 20% of astronauts worldwide. The development of space tourism has opened up new opportunities for women in the space industry. Private spaceflight companies have been at the forefront of efforts to make space travel more accessible to ordinary people, and some of these companies have made it a priority to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, including women. This has created new career opportunities for women in the space industry, including in fields such as engineering, piloting, and mission control.
Additionally, the growing interest in space tourism has sparked a debate about the potential impact of space travel on gender roles and stereotypes. Some have argued that space tourism could help to break down traditional gender roles and stereotypes, by providing women with new opportunities to engage in exciting and challenging activities that have traditionally been associated with men. Others have pointed out that space tourism could also reinforce gender stereotypes, by perpetuating the idea that space travel is a “masculine” activity and by promoting images of women as passive passengers rather than active participants in space exploration.
Space tourism also has a massive impact on the environment. As the industry expands, so does the massive footprint caused by toxic pollutants and soot, bearing in mind that these substances are emitted directly into the upper atmosphere. There are many articles here about the interplay between gender and climate change if you want to read more.
Overall, the development of space tourism has the potential to impact gender in a number of ways. While it has opened up new opportunities for women in the space industry, it has also highlighted the need for continued efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the field. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it will be important to ensure that the benefits of space travel are accessible to all individuals, regardless of their gender.
Inclusion in space shouldn’t be rocket science after all.