A recent view of and around our home planet made possible by private space flight company SpaceX.
John Strickland is At Large Director of the National Space Society and has written about colonizing space.
He tells VOA, earths orbit is just the beginning.
"By 2030, I expect there to be a SpaceX-sponsored mars base being built.Could be earlier, could be they could start the first test launch up as early as probably 2024.
That will surprise me now if they do it as early as 2022.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk remains the only billionaire major player in private space exploration who has not traveled into space
but his methodical approach to space travel may reap long-term gains.
Greg Autry is vice president of Space Development at the National Space Society
and professor of space leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona.
He tells VOA he credits Musk for building on previous successes as part of a long strategy for the space exploration business.
"Elons genius because he understands he wants to terraform mars.
Nobodys going to pay for that, but he sees that he has a step-by-step set of business cases that close right.
So his launch business, his human space flight business, his starlink business,
he understands that he has to have a series of business cases that close and produce cash flows
that generate returns for his private investment along the way."
Recently the space tourism component of space exploration took off
when in July, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson logged a successful flight aboard, a Virgin Galactic plane that took him to the edge of space.
Just nine days later, Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos followed suit aboard his new Shepard Rocket.
Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic say theyve already sold millions of dollars worth of tickets for future flights
and in Germany, the Design Travel Agency is selling travel packages aboard Virgin Galactic Manager Marion Aliabadi.
"Maybe the idea of being a pioneer being one of the first tourists in space and to be able to say I did this. I experienced that. or I broke another barrier.
Its like a test.What else can I achieve, people always want to go further.
They want to expand their horizons and it might be especially appealing to people who have already done many things."
And for those with hefty bank accounts, the going rate for a flight on Virgin Galactic is 250,000 for a 10-minute ride.
Blue Origin has yet to reveal the purchase price for tickets aboard its flights.
Both Autry and Strickland say theres good news for the rest of us though as they expect ticket costs will drop to the thousands of dollars within a decade.