11 May 2005
Announcements - Tourism (Good)
Space Adventures Goes to Japan
In response to overwhelming interest
by Alan Breakstone
Arlington, Va. – May 11, 2005 – Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today the official opening of an office in Tokyo and the appointment of Tatsuhiro Yokoyama as general manager.  Space Adventures, the only company in the world to have taken paying passengers to space, has received thousands of requests from Japan, and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, for more information on opportunities available today for space tourism.

The company which organized the orbital spaceflights for the world's first private space explorers, American businessman Dennis Tito and the “First African in Space” Mark Shuttleworth, is also pleased to announce the unveiling of their Web site available in Japanese, please visit www.spaceadventures.jp.

“We have seen a trend in the last 18 months of a growing interest in private space exploration from Japan. To meet that demand, we’re opening a Tokyo office to respond to the thousands of requests we’ve received,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures.  “Since our inception in 1998, we’ve offered a full-range of space experiences from simulation to spaceflight.  We‘re excited to have a formal presence in Japan and we look forward to announce the first Japanese space tourist in the coming weeks.”

In the last decade, the University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology began a study of public attitudes towards space exploration.  Among the findings of their 10-year study, they discovered, "an enormous unsatisfied desire among the general public to travel to space for themselves.  Some 80 percent of young people up to the age of 40 would like to, and even some 30 percent of people in their 60’s and 70’s say they would like to.” (1, 2)

Space Adventures' suborbital program, currently in development, will consist of a four-day training period and a 90-minute spaceflight.  As each vehicle reaches their maximum altitude, the rocket engines will shutdown and the passengers will experience up to five minutes of continuous weightlessness.  The company is the marketing and experiences operation partner for several of the leading space vehicle manufacturing companies and is the first company to accept deposits from suborbital spaceflight clients, currently totaling over $2,000,000 (USD).  Space Adventures is anticipating suborbital spaceflights to commence in the 2007-08 timeframe and the current price for the program is $102,000 (USD).

“I have always had a dream of flying to space and Space Adventures is going to make my dream a reality,” said Okubo Shuichi of Aichi, one of Space Adventures’ Japanese suborbital spaceflight clients.  “I look forward to my suborbital spaceflight and I’m already envisioning what the Earth from space will look like.”

Space Adventures' orbital spaceflights launch aboard Russian Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Private space explorers spend an average of 10 days orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space StationSpace Adventures has already sent two private citizens to space, Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth, both clients paid $20,000,000 (USD) each.

Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private space explorers to the International Space Station, is headquartered in Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with offices in Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as Zero-Gravity and MiG flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company's advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, shuttle astronauts Kathy Thornton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Norm Thagard, Sam Durrance, Byron Lichtenberg, Pierre Thuot and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott.

1.       P Collins et al, 1994, "Commercial Implications of Market Research on Space Tourism", Journal of Space Technology and Science, Vol 10, No 2, pp 3-11.

2.       P Collins et al, 1995, "Demand for Space Tourism in America and Japan, and its Implications for Future Space Activities",! Proceedings of 6th ISCOPS, AAS Vol 91, pp 601-610.
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Alan Breakstone 11 May 2005
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