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Origin:Proceedings of 6th IS COPS, AAS in press.

This paper is the result of a preliminary study of the operation of a space transportation system to be used for space tourism. The prospective carriers are single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicles which take-off and land vertically. Assuming that airports used for general aviation are used as spaceports for this purpose, we have conceptualized the turnaround operation of the vehicle, and the facilities and equipment required for the transportation system. We have also analyzed the general characteristics of the requirements and constraints of airports, such as propellant supply and location of departure facilities resulting from noise regulations. As a result, four issues have been identified. Firstly, special take-off and landing areas are required for each vehicle. Secondly, the space vehicles should be designed to satisfy the economic requirement to use existing airport ground support equipment. Thirdly, it is necessary to reduce noise levels of rocket vehicles by one order of magnitude. And finally, the choice of propellant production and transportation depends on the airport location and the frequency of flights.

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