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|Origin:||Journal of Space Technology and Science, Vol 6, No 2, pp 21-33.|
To date the space age has not fulfilled the vision of the early space engineers and science fiction writers who described a future in which large numbers of people work and live in space, both near Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. More than thirty years after the first satellite launch, barely two hundred people have visited space, at a cost of around $100 million per person. It is even argued that space exploration will forever be performed mainly by automated vehicles. However, the development of fully re-usable launch vehicles over the next twenty years will greatly reduce the cost and danger of launches, and will greatly widen public access to space. On some scenarios as many as one million people could visit space on a commercial basis within twenty-five years. The economic implications of such a development are very significant both for the space iridustry and for the global economy.
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