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|Origin:||Proceedings of 7th ISCOPS, AAS Vol 96, pp 693-707|
As part of the Space Tourism Study Program of the Japanese Rocket Society, the passenger vehicle Kankoh-maru has been designed to carry 50 passengers to low Earth orbit, the initial service to be a flight comprising two orbital revolutions. However, it is intended that the services offered will develop progressively, and from market research it is understood that accommodation in orbit is needed in order for the market for space tourism services to reach its full potential.
The need to rendezvous and dock with an orbiting hotel imposes constraints on Kankoh-maru operations, including on the sites from which it can launch, on the frequency and duration of flights, and on propellant requirements. This paper introduces the main factors, and considers the orbital constraints in some detail, making some preliminary estimates for representative cases.
The viewpoint of operating a commercial service is different from traditional launch operations, and much of the detailed information that companies will need to make firm plans is not yet readily available. Consequently the discussion in this paper is somewhat simplified. Nevertheless it is hoped that it will be useful as an introduction to the subject for airline planners who are beginning to consider these services.
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