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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. So...watch 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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Media / Other (None)
28 July 1997 by Peter Wainwright
Business has some wild ideas in orbit. But who knows?
Business Week ponders the upsurge in space interest caused by the Mars Pathfinder and considers the implications for business with a look at SpaceDev, Kelly, Boeing and Pioneer Rocketplane.
Media / Other (None)
17 July 1997 by
Los Angeles Times surveys potential colonists
From the L.A. Times' "Life & Style" section:

Would You Go?

If volunteers were being sought to colonize Mars, would you be on the ship or off?

Let us know what you're thinking (for instance: What if your kids could join you but your parents couldn't?).

Nonreturnable submissions, 50 words or less, should be sent by Aug. 15 to "Life on Mars" c/o Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053 (Fax: [213] 237-4888).

No phone calls, please (but do include your daytime and evening numbers).

Media / Other (None)
16-17 July 1997 by Patrick Collins
5 new papers relating to JRS Space Tourism Study Program presented at 7th ISCOPS

5 new papers relating to the JRS Space Tourism Study Program were presented at the 7th ISCOPS held in Nagasaki July 25-28, showing that this work is advancing on all fronts, and gathering interest from an increasingly wide range of experts - as it deserves to!

  • "Dynamic throttling response of LH2 rocket engine for vertical landing rocket vehicle" by Y Naruo et al discusses the technical requirements for rapid throttle response for SSTO VTOL vehicles (like Kankoh-maru) in order to avoid the need to gimbal the engines (which adds to mass and complexity), and reports on recent experiments carried out on an LH2 engine that suggests that these requirements can indeed be met with existing technology. Very encouraging for reducing vehicle costs!
  • "A common cost target of space transportation for space tourism and space energy development" by M Nagatomo et al estimates the launch cost targets that must be met in order for both space tourism services and transmission of solar-generated electric power from space to be commercially attractive propositions. In both cases the target is somewhere around $100/kg to low Earth orbit - a bit higher for tourism, a bit lower for SPS. If the launch industry can meet these targets they will be in a "whole new ball-game" with essentially limitless prospects for investment and growth, since they will be tapping two of the biggest business sectors in the world economy. Until this cost target is reached, space activities will remain a burden on taxpayers. Kankoh-maru and the cargo version are being designed to meet this target.
  • "The JRS space tourism study program Phase 2", by P Collins and K Isozaki describes the current state of the JRS research, now in its 5th year. The 2nd Report of the JRS Transportation Research Committee has just been published, including cost estimates for development, certification and production of Kankoh-maru. The 1st Report of the JRS Business Research Committee is due to be published soon, including discussion of operating cost targets, operation of Kankoh-maru from airports, orbital accommodation and other matters. Plans for the 3rd phase of the JRS study (now beginning) are described.
  • "Orbital considerations in Kankoh-maru rendezvous operations" by T Williams et al starts to analyze the use of Kankoh-maru for making return trips to orbiting hotels. Kankoh-maru is designed primarily to take 50 passengers for a short flight in a 200 km orbit, and reaching a hotel imposes new constraints on the vehicle design and operation - particularly since hotels will probably be sited in orbits of 355 km or above. The paper is written to be easily read by non-specialists such as airline planners, and looks forward to the day when phrases like "apogee", "RBAR", "Ten-to-one-rule" and "dog-leg" are as familiar to airline flight dispatchers as "great circle", "jet-stream" and "go-around" are today. And to when "passenger load factor", "block time" and "spacecraft utilization" are equally familiar to launch vehicle designers!
  • "Pilot procedures for Kankoh-maru operations" by Erik Anderson et al is a real "first" - the first pilot's manual for an SSTO VTOL rocket. It discusses the need for rocket designers to adopt "aviation philosophy" if rocket transport is to become a mature business. And then goes through the procedures for a routine flight. The Appendix is a (simplified) version of a Flight Manual for the " Kawasaki S-1", an all-purpose variant of the Kankoh-maru. It reads like the real thing, and shows that if maintenance requirements can be brought down to reasonable levels, airlines will operate VTOL rockets just like aircraft. It even shows how, if there had been a pilot aboard, the DC-XA accident could have been avoided. A fun read for pilots!

    All in all, these papers are very encouraging to read, and show some of the widening interest in developing vehicles to provide space tourism services to the public. We hope they'll attract more researchers to join this field. For example, many university Professors, researchers and students have some flexibility to decide what subjects they will research. And as a research field space tourism has three great features - it's new, and so it's easy to do genuinely new work that is genuinely valuable - and even historic. It's fun - researchers will have no difficulty recruiting enthusiastic and able students - and getting media coverage for their work. And it's leading towards money - unlike almost all other space-related research. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world, it's growing fast, and it's always looking for new fields. So it's possible to do work that's not only new and fun, but also of real commercial interest.

Media / Other (None)
28 May 1997 by Sam Coniglio
IP Space Tours GmbH releases report of media coverage on the ISST

IP Space Tours GmbH just released a report on the media coverage of the first International Symposium on Space Tourism. It was held from March 20-22, 1997 in Bremen, Germany. Here are the statistics from coverage in Germany: 1.560,000 listeners on radio, 30,706,196 readers on print media, and 34,800,000 viewers on television are estimated to have seen or heard about the event. Through wire reports such as Associated Press, ISST was reported in dozens of countries, including the United States.

Another important measurement was the style of the news reports. All of the reports accepted the vision of space tourism as serious. Only one out of 101 reports was negative. The rest were ranged from neutral to enthusiastic.

Space Tours' report included details of the German media outlets, and photocopies of several newspaper articles (all in German, of course).

Media / Other (None)
25 May 1997 by
Welcome to the ultimate penthouse suite: a hotel orbiting Earth. Nasa, the American space agency, is sponsoring a project to build a space station for holidaymakers by 2012.
Media / Other (None)
02 February 1997 by
Anything from low-orbit moon-watching to weightless karaoke will be on offer to anyone for 10,000
Space, the final tourist destination. The Japanese Rocket Society ( JRS) has embarked on a 13-year mission to boldly go where no group tour has gone before.
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