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Space Tourism


The mistake underlying by many of the future is the assumption that ordinary people cannot go to space. They believe that it is almost impossibly difficult to get to space, and that only specially selected people with extensive training can survive the "rigors" of space travel. Consequently they assume that space activities will remain trivially small in scale, and that humans' future will be essentially Earth-bound.

This idea is entirely mistaken: in fact it is not very difficult to travel to space development of commercial passenger space transportation is the key innovation needed to create an economical space transportation network; and that, in the near future, only commercial passenger space transportation will generate an economic return on the hundreds of $billions invested in developing space capabilities to date. Passenger space travel is itself likely to grow to a turnover of tens of $billions, but it will have further major economic benefits by reducing the cost of space transportation to an extent that no other activity will, due to its large scale.

​It has been projected that 30 years from now there will be 100 hotels or more in orbit - the majority probably being in high-inclination orbits for economical access from high latitudes and to give guests views of much of the Earth. There may be perhaps 20 hotels in equatorial orbit (the cheapest to reach) for customers who are more interested in zero gravity activities such as sports than in the range of views of Earth, 10 in polar orbit to give views of the whole of Earth, and a few in highly elliptical orbits to give guests views of the distant Earth.

It has been acknowledged that space tourism is not only a legitimate target of space development, but it is the key target, and what is more, the only one that is going to generate wealth from space in the foreseeable future. Repeated public acknowledgment of this by authoritative figures will have a profoundly beneficial economic influence in itself, not least in helping to educate the investment world. It will also enable the many companies which receive contracts from space agencies to work openly on space tourism without fear of "offending" the agencies

Inspired by the success of the 10 million USD "Ansari X-Prize " in stimulating the development of reusable sub-orbital passenger vehicles, real estate developer and hotel operator Robert Bigelow  established a 50 million USD prize for the first team to fly a reusable vehicle carrying 5 people to orbit by January 2010. He also established Bigelow Aerospace  Inc to develop orbiting hotels .

other such benefits, growth of space tourism seems likely to lead to highly desirable growth in the numbers of young people choosing to study engineering and science. In summary, it is hard to think of any policy measure that would have wider economic benefits at lower cost than implementing policies to ensure the rapid growth of low-cost passenger space travel services.

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