Potential demand for passenger travel to orbit

by Patrick Collins, Hosei Univ, Tokyo, Japan,
Yoichi Iwasaki, Hosei Univ, Tokyo, Japan,
Hideki Kanayama, Hosei Univ, Tokyo, Japan,
Misuzu Okazaki, Hosei Univ, Tokyo, Japan,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


In recent years the possibility of `space tourism', that is individual passenger travel to space on a commercial basis, has received increasing attention. The possibility of such an activity becoming a profitable commercial business will depend both on the cost of providing such services, and on the potential demand for them. At present the major obstacle to space tourism becoming a profitable commercial business is the very high cost of launch, which will continue until fully reusable launch vehicles are developed and put into regular, frequent operation. However, justification of the development of fully reusable launch vehicles will depend on the scale of the launch market for which they are intended. Unfortunately, the satellite launch market does not appear to have much growth potential, and so new launch markets are needed. This paper describes some work on assessing the potential demand for tourism services in low Earth orbit.

Subject Headings: Space exploration | Orbits | Tourism | Passengers | Business management | Benefit cost ratios | Travel demand

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