Zero-Gravity Sports Centers

by Patrick Collins, Hosei Univ, Tokyo, Japan,
Takashi Fukuoka, Hosei Univ, Tokyo, Japan,
Tsuyoshi Nishimura, Hosei Univ, Tokyo, Japan,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


One of the uses that has been proposed for fully reusable launch vehicles is `space tourism', the making of short visits to low Earth orbit by fare-paying passengers. This seems to offer the potential to generate a large commercial market, of the order of tens of launches per day, which is needed to amortize the development cost of a new generation of launch vehicles. Once such businesses are established, it seems likely that orbiting hotels will be developed to enable guests to enjoy a variety of entertainments in Earth orbit. One feature of such hotels will be spacious rooms providing guests the opportunity to enjoy `zero gravity'. This paper considers three different types of `sports center', which offer a wide range of possible entertainments. The design of these centers is considered, together with their costs and commercial potential. Overall, once launch costs fall sufficiently for space tourism to become commercially feasible, such sports centers seem likely to become attractive commercial investments.

Subject Headings: Space stations | Space exploration | Orbits | Commercial buildings | Tourism | Benefit cost ratios | Aircraft and spacecraft

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