17 December 2001
Online - Tourism (Good)
Washington Post article on Space Tourism
Tom Rogers interviewed
by Patrick Collins
By Patrick Collins

On December 9 the Washington Post published an article on space tourism, most of which is devoted to an interview with Thomas F. Rogers, currently the Chief Scientist at the Space Transportation Association in Washington D.C. Tom Rogers, one of the longest-standing supporters of space tourism in the United States, was instrumental in such early activities as the External Tanks Corporation and the "Citizen in Space" program that fell to pieces with the Challenger disaster. His Sophron Foundation has provided the initial seed funding for the X-Prize Foundation and other related activities. Several of his papers appear in the Space Future archives.

Tom Rogers' resume includes a wide range of high-level, security-related work in which he was involved as an antenna-satellite-space expert. This accounts for his particular exasperation at Russia's recent space tourism activities. Some readers may find his comments about Russian and Japanese work on space tourism rather aggressive, but he's exasperated that they're apparently starting to surpass the United States; actually, the United States should dominate commercial space travel as it does commercial air travel, having invested far more money than any other country in this field.

It is truly phenomenal how most journalists (with honourable exceptions) have been brainwashed by government space agencies into believing that space travel has no use except for government activities. Slowly but surely journalists are starting to open their minds to other possibilities. But their continuing reluctance to criticise space agencies (largely due to their monopoly role) is still an obstacle to their thinking clearly. Fortunately this article is a good example of the progress that is being made.
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Patrick Collins 17 December 2001
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