From Project Persephone

PmWiki: Space Tourism

Space Tourism is a blanket term currently covering both commercial orbital space travel ("Orbital space tourism") and the more speculative market for cheaper suborbital space tourism ("suborbital flight?").

Orbital Space Tourism

Project Persephone takes the view that there are probably many synergies between its activities and those of orbital space tourism. The enduring success of orbital tourism will almost certainly help the Project greatly, and what's learned from the Project could help orbital space tourism toward enduring successes and wider markets.

However, a burgeoning orbital tourism indusry is not a necessary precondition for the Project's success. Orbital tourism currently depends very much on access to facilities and hardware whose availability is contingent on good working relations between space-faring superpowers. These superpower relations are far from being free of friction. A sudden worsening of relations could end suborbital tourism indefinitely, but should only hamper the prospects for the Project. Ideally, the Project is planned and designed so that, in the event of political interruptions in recreational uses of space, it can serve at least as a modest model of continuity in voluntary transnational cooperation in space.

Sub-orbital Space Tourism

Suborbital flight is a very different experience category, and probably less important for the Project. It is interesting mainly insofar as:

If spaceports for suborbital flight prove to be popular tourist destinations, especially where national space programs already supply some relevant launch services as has been suggested,1,2,3 siting Project Persephone exhibits and demonstrations at such spaceports is an idea that probably ought be explored for its potential value in education, recruiting of volunteers, and soliciting contributions.

However, the Project is not in any way predicated on some burgeoning market for recreational suborbital flight, which is still somewhat speculative and dependent for success on establishing a solid safety record. The technology-maturation value of microgravity experimentation and testing will still be available at facilities like drop towers, on commercial flights such as those offered by Zero G, and with sounding rockets, albeit at generally higher cost.


1 "Wallops may benefit from NASA strategy", September 10, 2009,0,6937729.story



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Page last modified on September 09, 2011, at 04:16 AM