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:  237-4888).
No phone calls, please (but do include your daytime and evening numbers).
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!
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.
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).