Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

By Charlton Haupt, Co-founder — Bad Astro Society

For as long as we have gazed upward at the sky, people have dreamed of visiting the stars. At minimum, we want to fly, see the curvature of the earth and experience zero gravity, but the space tourism industry is still in its infancy. A short trip to lower space will run you about $500,000 today, but what if we could make the final frontier accessible to the masses?

Believe it or not, there is a way. And, like space travel itself, it runs through technological innovation. 

By 2030, space tourism should be available to millions of people who have embraced Web3. It should hardly be surprising that the first commoners to go into space would be those who were unafraid to take risks and embrace futuristic technologies here on earth. Some will be space nerds, others music lovers or party animals; and some all three. What they will share is a willingness to take financial technology to its final frontier.

Celebrity involvement

In the mediasphere, space tourism has been defined by celebrities, from corporate titans like Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to actors and celebrities like William “Captain Kirk” Shatner. Other passengers have been luminaries in the business world, which makes sense considering that they must have $450,000 minimum to splash down on a ticket to space. The price is so high that Blue Origin does not disclose what its passengers pay, but we can assume that the cost for its 15-minute sojourn is in high-six figures to low-seven figures — if not more.

We have (mostly) been content to wait in line as the VIPs walked past clutching their golden tickets, though there has been massive interest garnished from those who stayed on earth, like Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson. Investor enthusiasm has soared. SpaceX, for example, completed a record funding round shortly after its first civilian flight, while Virgin Galactic saw a nice bump in its stock after its inaugural flight. 

Shares have come down since then, but once another mission is completed, enthusiasm will no doubt bounce back. When it does, new investors will be the first to sign up for the ride.

Space travel

Even 50 years after we sent a man to the moon, most people remain fascinated with space. The awe of looking up at a sky full of stars is primordial and powerful. So far, however, there are only a handful of space tourism companies in operation or close to operating, including Bezos’ Blue Origin, Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Space Perspective, which will feature fancy dinner parties in glass-walled spacecraft attached to giant balloons.

The gatekeeper is price, but what most of us fail to realize is how much the price has already come down in a relatively short period of time. Just two decades ago, ‘N Sync member Lance Bass was booted off of a Russian Space Agency flight because he could not find a sponsor willing to pay the reported $20 million fee. Today, by comparison, Elon Musk is promising that SpaceX will soon get the price of orbiting the earth down to $100k — hardly chump change, but cheaper than many Teslas.

Musk is notoriously good at seeing the future, and he likely anticipates a time when space tourism companies like SpaceX will compete with one another for the business of thousands, if not millions, of civilian space travelers. There is already talk of “space-cations” up on the moon or in orbiting hotels. Ultimately, people will be able to choose what kind of experience they want, be it straight up and down for a blast of adrenalin, a relaxing orbit or two, a trip to the moon and back, or a gourmet meal served in pure darkness and utter silence.

Industry estimates are that if tickets cost $250,000, there would be 1.5 million people banging down the door for a ride to space. By 2030, we estimate that there will be room for 10,000 space tourists, paying anywhere from $2.5 billion to $5 billion-plus total for the privilege of being considered space travelers. But how they pay may be the most important, and impressive, feat of all.


So far, there is no official currency in space, though we are very confident that it will be based on the blockchain, and that non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, will be essential components. The key, then, will be getting started now, just like putting money in an account for your child’s college.

As a savings mechanism, NFTs have huge advantages over cash. The biggest is that they can be “multi-staked,” or generate multiple streams of income via royalties, staking, and minting. Once it gained enough value, a utility NFT could be used as its own ticket or as “frequent-flier”-type points, which would allow the holder to choose from a range of space travel options.

With the launch of the Artemis rocket this past November, it’s clear that both private and public industry is dedicated to human space travel. No one doubts that civilians will be along for the ride, yet the only conceivable way for most of us to accumulate the price of admission is using the power of Web3 technology. In order to do so, we will need to create platforms that can create its own market, which will then compound the value of our investments — in other words, a micro-economy.

By leveraging both social media and the blockchain, we can now create such ecosystems; platforms that generate their own demand and supply. Financially, we will get to space together, not alone. And the larger the platform, the more liquid and the more money it will attract. This may sound fantastical, but if Boring Apes NFTs can attract millions of dollars in investment and generate untold amounts of publicity, imagine what the promise of space travel will do.

Building a community

If Web3 projects for space travel are created today, it won’t be rich individuals clamoring for golden tickets in 2030. Rather, it will be the communities who had the foresight to pool their resources, grow them, and buy the seats in advance.

There are millions of people who have never been in crypto who will realize that, for the price of two Ethereum — roughly $2-3,000 — they can join a community and go to outerspace by 2030. I think that’s a deal that most of us will not be able to refuse. Of course, there will be those who still find it outrageous, or who don’t believe that such things are possible. But eventually, their necks will get tired of watching others launch into space and, as with any new technology, they will adapt.

Indeed, if you’re one of those ultra-wealthy people who will be itching to go into space by 2030, you will probably end up buying your ticket from a regular person who invested in a space NFT years before.

Charlton Haupt is the Founder and CEO of Bad Astro Society.  He’s also a husband, father, friend, adrenaline enthusiast, and lover of all things crypto and the outdoors. When Charlton isn’t watching sports, he’s constantly up to date on the latest news in the crypto market.