Space is just another place where humans are going to live. And because space is almost limitless humans are going to live there in vast numbers in the future - in other words, it will become a whole new habitat.

Today most activities in space are government ones because getting to and from space is so expensive. Once travel to and from orbit is cheap enough, as on Earth, most activities in space will be carried out by individuals, private companies and organizations. At that time space activities will involve almost every industry - not just the aerospace industry but construction and interior design, catering and drinks, fashion and music, sports and entertainment, advertising and law, to name just a few.

Obviously, if people are going to live in space, they are going to need somewhere to live. Hotels are all very well for tourists, but workers will have more practical needs for their permanent accommodation - being close to work for one.

Living in space for long periods of time, or even permanently, is far more serious a prospect than merely staying for a few days or weeks. Much research in space today concerns the effect on the body of living in weightlessness or "zero gravity" for long periods. While this isn't a concern for tourists (we already know that living in zero G for a few weeks has no harmful effects) the long-term effects of low gravity have both benefits and drawbacks to health.

29 July 2012
Added "Space Debris and Its Mitigation" to the archive.
16 July 2012
Space Future has been on something of a hiatus of late. With the concept of Space Tourism steadily increasing in acceptance, and the advances of commercial space, much of our purpose could be said to be achieved. But this industry is still nascent, and there's much to do. this space.
9 December 2010
Updated "What the Growth of a Space Tourism Industry Could Contribute to Employment, Economic Growth, Environmental Protection, Education, Culture and World Peace" to the 2009 revision.
7 December 2008
"What the Growth of a Space Tourism Industry Could Contribute to Employment, Economic Growth, Environmental Protection, Education, Culture and World Peace" is now the top entry on Space Future's Key Documents list.
30 November 2008
Added Lynx to the Vehicle Designs page.
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The Joy of Zero G
We don't really need to discuss details that people can imagine for themselves, but basically, floating has got to be fun! Anything that makes you giggle in such a situation surely has to be a good thing! Among other effects, being weightless will mean that you and your partner can manoeuvre round each other without danger of either of you - or any parts of you - getting squashed! No more arms or legs going numb!

It's surely also true that there will be a certain "knack" to be learned for "rendezvous and docking". In fact, quite a number of ideas have already been published about this in both fiction and non-fiction books. For example, one author has suggested using special four-legged shorts to hold couples together!

Another has suggested (apparently seriously) that three people will always be needed! (Well, I guess tastes differ - but not for me, thanks!)

Other authors have proposed a range of special furniture and fittings in zero-G bed-rooms for holding onto to prevent you floating around and bumping your head against the walls!

So far, people who've stayed in orbit have generally slept in sleeping bags attached to the wall - but remember, in zero G, walls, floor and ceiling are the same. This has been mainly in order to take up as little of the limited space as possible.

In orbiting hotel rooms, probably a mattress or futon against the "wall", and a sheet or blanket with a large patch of velcro at each corner will be preferred. This will be enough to keep you in place "in bed", and should work for double beds as well as for single beds. But there's clearly plenty of scope for entertaining experimentation! By bedroom designers - and by users!

The cheaper end of the spectrum of sleeping accommodation will be used by hotel staff (and students?) and will be more cramped - something like a sleeping-bag in a broom-cupboard!

Anyway, we can presumably be confident that honeymoons in orbit will become a significant segment of the space tourism market!

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