An Introduction to Space Tourism

Man is curious by his nature and space travel is utter most curiosity for mankind. Few in million people got chance to sort their curiosity but what about rest millions?? When a common man would be able to fulfill his dream destination?? Millions of questions pertain in mind but there was no answer for this couple of years ago.However, the distant dream of exploring space by common man turned into reality by the introduction of space industry. People would like to experience space travel for various reasons. This paper aim to give brief idea about space tourism industry, its emerging trends and how much it is commercial viable and what are the risk factors involved in it followed by the conclusion.
Further the paper aim to discuss potential of space tourism and forecasting the expected revenue and estimating the investment costs for developing space tourism. INTRODUCTIONSpace tourism encapsulates the notion that paying passengers will have the opportunity to travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere and experience orbital flights, prolonged stays in rotating space hotels and participate in research, entertainment and even sport. However, it is important to emphasize that this concept will necessitate a paradigm shift in how space is perceived, constituting not only the journey but also forming the destination. Space tourism for a literal understanding of the term may be split into two words, space and tourism. Space has been defined by many dictionaries as: A boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and has relative position and direction. ” Merriam-Webster dictionary “The infinite extension of the three-dimensional region in which all matter exists. ” Free dictionary.
com “The empty area outside the earth’s atmosphere, where the planets and the stars are. ” (Cambridge Dictionaries, 2000). The word space invigorates the enthusiasm in any curious individual towards the darkness of the universe, not literally but, one tries to see the light beyond this darkness.Curiosity gets the better of us. With all due respect to the people who believe in the saying curiosity kills, it’s after all curiosity that got mankind reach the heights it has. Space exploration, aerodynamics, technology, communication, satellites, orbits and the list goes on-and-on are all attributed to curiosity and enthusiasm for aviation and space exploration. Space is a term that can refer to various phenomena in science, mathematics, and communications.

In astronomy and cosmology, space is the vast 3-dimensional region that begins where the earth’s atmosphere ends.Space is usually thought to begin at the lowest altitude at which satellites can maintain orbits for a reasonable time without falling into the atmosphere. This is approximately 160 kilometers (100 miles) above the surface. Although the frontier between the atmosphere and space is not officially defined, it is generally accepted that space begins 100 km from the surface of the earth. Tourism Tourism derivates from the word “tour” which means a journey in a circuit[1]. where the most essential word is circuit which signifies a return journey to the origin point.Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes.
The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who “travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for more than twenty-four (24) hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited”. Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2007, there were over 903 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 6. 6% as compared to 2006.International tourist receipts were USD 856 billion in 2007 in India. [2] The first terrestrial vehicle penetrated the orbit surrounding Earth over three decades ago, yet since this time space has remained strictly within the domain of national governments and professional Astronauts. Over the course of human history there has always been a strong drive to explore and travel to new and exciting places.
Space exploration has captured the imagination of the general public for the last 30 years; it is only natural that people are now beginning to ask if and when they too might venture into space.Space and tourism have both developed at an equally rapid pace, and the potential of both together is definitely going to grow further. Although human spaceflight is currently the privilege of a few space-exploring nations, recent advances in space technology and entrepreneurship are about to change the status quo. China, with the assistance of Russian technology, was able to place an astronaut in space in 2003 in a fraction of the time that it took other space powers, such as the USA and USSR, to do this. The first credible private space-tourist venture is already a reality.The first space tourist, Denis Tito, flew in 2001 in a government vehicle, although his flight was privately funded, whilst in 2004 the first spaceship became a reality. Thus, • Space tourism: providing services for humans to access and experience space for adventure and recreation • Space tourist: a person who travels to and experiences space for adventure and recreation (also space traveler, space client, space passenger).
Essentially space tourism is of 2 types 1. Sub orbital 2. Orbital Sub orbital As the word suggests, Sub orbital flight, is a flight short of orbit altitude.Currently priced at around US $1,00,000, a sub orbital flight would take a tourist to an altitude of about 100 Km above the earth on a trajectorial path, at the peak of which one would experience zero gravity and can see the earth’s curvature and the hollow black space around. The spacecraft will probably shut off its engines well before reaching maximum altitude, and then coast up to its highest point. During a few minutes, from the point when the engines are shut off to the point where the atmosphere begins to slow down the downward acceleration.This flight now requires a training of about a week.
[3] On return from the sub orbital flight the tourist would be awarded with an astronauts wing. Technically an astronauts wing is awarded to those who have reached an altitude of 62 Miles or more. [pic] Figure 1: space ship2 slung beneath the white Knight2, As seen in the above picture the flight would be in a aircraft with rocket engines which would be carried by a carrier aircraft to an altitude of 50,000 Ft from where it would be jettisoned and leave for the sub orbital with the aid of rocket power achieving a speed of Mach 3. in the process. As the rocket fuel would finish so would the ascent and at the top of the trajectory the spaceship would reach its Max. altitude where the real fun would begin (Zero gravity). the spacecraft would then come back to earth and would make conventional landing either on the origin airport or any other alternate airport chosen for the purpose.
Sub-orbital tourist flights will initially focus on attaining the altitude required to qualify as reaching space. The flight path will probably be ither vertical or very steep, with the spacecraft landing back at its take-off site. The future of sub orbital flights could reduce the intercontinental flight times to fraction of what they are today and provide a platform for biotechnology and medical sciences. Orbital Tourism A rocket launch to the orbit on a Soyuz rocket and a Reusable Launch Vehicle RLV, attached to it like the space shuttle Columbia, where one would dock into the International Space Station (ISS) and stay there for a week or more.Though only a handful of tourists have been to the ISS paying a price of about US $20Mn. The orbital experience is totally different from that of sub orbital in the sense that one would experience zero gravity throughout the stay, orbit the earth and see the sun rise every 90 Mins. Eat and live like astronauts do and the best feature is the pioneer.
But the flight does not come with its own requirements in terms of health and fitness. Flying to space requires a high level of fitness due to the amount of stress on the body due to the absence of gravity.The orbital trip would require from one to undergo a rigorous training for about 6 months so as to familiarize with zero gravity living, maneuvering and also some operational functions and controls in the ISS. SPACE TOURISM: POPULARITY The space has always been a fascination for man. Everybody like gazing at the stars and the moon, the panoramic formations they make in the black space, twinkling and lighting the earth. One would wonder what it would be like, to go closer to the stars and the moon. How does the earth look form the space? Economic BenefitsThe great potential in terms of revenues that could be generated though not in the short term but in the longer run space tourism would practically see more travelers pouring in due to the reduced costs of launch.
A lot of Research and development has been taking place since the time the wright brothers have invented the airplane. It remains an inescapable economic fact that, unless government space expenditure stimulates the growth of services which the public wish to buy, this so-called “investment” is merely consumption, which destroys the public’s savings rather than grows them.If space agencies’ expenditure was as effective as normal commercial investment, there would already be a $1 trillion/ year commercial space industry – rather than a mere 1/50 of this. At a time when unemployment is high and rising worldwide specifically due to the lack of new industries and the ongoing recession, the development of a new industry rivaling passenger air travel, would be of far greater economic value than space agencies’ activities. [4] Medical Tourism A lot of research has been going on In order to develop medicines and promote micro biology in zero gravity.Bacteria formation is rapid in the space. Media The phenomenal popularity over several decades of space fiction stories both on television and in films.
Live-action US television shows such as “Lost in Space” and “Star Trek”; animated Japanese television series such as “Space Battleship Yamato” and “Mobile Suit Gundam”, and British television puppet-shows such as “Thunderbirds” have all achieved record ratings and have maintained their popularity for a decade or more[5]. Many space-fiction films have also been major box-office successes.So perhaps the wide potential market for space tourism services is not so very “surprising”? It is well known that the Apollo project had a unique stimulating effect in encouraging record numbers of young Americans to study engineering and science. Both that one-off event and recent media interest in Dennis Tito’s flight and Scaled Composites’ sub-orbital activities suggest strongly that growing availability of space tourism activities, and corresponding growth of employment in the nascent space travel service industry, will spark a new boom in young peoples’ interest in science, engineering and particularly aerospace .In addition to the views, living in weightlessness is endlessly fascinating: every activity of daily life becomes transformed into a new experience. The Japanese astronauts Dr Mukai and Dr Mohri recently clarified some important points about this. It is popularly believed that travelling to space is stressful and will be spoiled by “space sickness”[6].
But Dr Mukai has explained that travelling to and from space is not at all stressful and anyone could go, and Dr Mohri has explained that “space sickness” is just a form of motion-sickness which is prevented by normal “travel-sickness” medicines.Consequently guests in orbital hotels will be able to fully enjoy daily life in “zero-gravity”. One of the most important lessons of business, though not a law of nature, is that being the first company to successfully provide a new service to the general public gives great advantage in dominating a new industry. Names such as Edison, Xerox, IBM, Coca-Cola, Thomas Cook, are all testimony to this. CURRENT AND EMERGING TRENDS IN SPACE TOURISM Current trends in space tourismSpace travel is scheduled to begin from the year 2010 and virgin galactic is planned to ignite the first rocket to sub orbit with passengers. Virgin galactic’s – spaceship2 and its white knight 2 carrier craft which is being built by the scaled composites unit owned by Burt Rutan, whereas the spaceship 2 is yet to be tested its rocket engines have been tested with satisfactory results the white knight 2 has already completed several hours of flight tests to set its parameters[7] . The spaceship 2 is slated to make its virgin flight on Dec 7.
[8]Mojave air and spaceport has been granted the licence to handle spaceship 2 type horizontal launch vehicles after it had submitted an application earlier this year. [9] space plane being built by XCOR, “Lynx”, has completed its rocket tests. They already have 30 reservations for the sub orbital flight and would begin the test flight on Lynx Mach 1 in the mid 2010 and are aalso planning on second Lynx mach 2 a year and a half later i. e. if things go smoothly for the Lynx M1. They are firing the 5K18 engines to the full power now and have come out with pretty good results.They are also working on the concepts for a two stage fully reusable launch vehicle for the orbital trip.
[10] Spaceport Sweden is being planned along with setting up a space campus ‘kiruna[11]’ in the view of creating an awareness among people and students towards the space activities. As well as European Union funded projects that will start later this year such as FAST20XX the Swedish Space Corporation has calculated that Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 1 could allow the Swedes to launch satellites from their most northern territory without dropping rocket stages onto their neighbours.It turns out that they almost have the spaceport ready and have adopted a flexible legal policy by adapting FAA, REASA, European safety and environment norms and other policies into their organization. They have also plans for a two stage orbital launch vehicle if demand is favorable. The Swedish SpaceX Corporation has the lowest cost launch orbital launch rocket which gives it immense potential for the orbital flight sector. Rocket plane has come with a unique business plan of space weddings. With its spacecraft still in developmental stages information is scarce on it plans.
The Other Avenues Being Developed for space exploitation are intercontinental travel which would reduce the time from several hours to minutes. A lot of people have expressed their desire to be buried in space and honeymooning In orbit has been a fascination. There are plans to even explore the medicinal values of space and the effect it would have on infrastructural development in the form of concrete reinforcement. Point to point space travel[12] allows a travel from one point in space to another. It could either be moving from on orbit to another, or travel from one space station to another.EMERGING TRENDS Space tourism has created a buzz among the earthlings. With its attractive features it has been able to drag the attention of the people towards space as a venue for a exotic destination.
The avenue that was open only to few is now being thrown open to the general public[13]. Space tourism not just restricted to sub orbital flights or a simple stay at the ISS but its horizons are being expanded to unfathomable limits like the space hotel by Bigelow aerospace, or future concepts for constructions in space , harnessing the unlimited solar power and transmitting it to earth[14].And that’s not it: astrology can gain a lot from space tourism more over for the adventurous there is sky diving from space and many more space related activities. With the dawn of the Private Space Race, where private interests are enthusiastically pursuing the space tourism industry, the competitive spirit in the realm of space has reemerged. This is particularly important for two reasons[15]. First, space tourism will make the dream of spaceflight – one that has lingered for millennia – a reality for our generation.Moreover, the Private Space Race has the potential to spur a similar surge of growth and innovation in space-related activities as was experienced during and after the Space Race.
With millions of dollars in revenue that could be generated space tourism is a opportunity to invest in, in the market. With time the cost of launch and legal procedures related to space activities would come down and become simpler making it affordable and less cumbersome procedural wise.With inter-city travel being made possible travel times would decrease but eventually this would require a different type of communication as there is no air in space and also different operational procedures like approach into a traffic zone or departure. A lot of technological advances would be evidences by this phenomena. The ticket prices to space would eventually decrease from an astronomical amount of US $ 20 Mn to a few Million dollars[16] and so would the case be for the sub orbital flight with a prices subsidization from US $ 1,00,000 to a few thousand dollars making it affordable for all.AVENUES OF DEVELOPMENT IN SPACE TOURISM Apart from furthering the journey to distant places like Mars and other planets or the galaxies space has a lot more potential for science like medicines, infrastructural development, astronomical research and also astrology. There are many more avenues to be exploited in space but that’s left to the minds inquisitiveness and curiosity.
There are several concepts of new space industries waiting to be developed, many of which are hindered by the high cost of sending materials, objects, or people into space.Lower cost access to space, driven by the pursuit of the space tourism industry, may hold the key to developing these opportunities further. Intercity Sub-orbital Travel: Imagine flights from Los Angeles to Tokyo in 40 minutes, or from Los Angeles to Paris in 38 minutes. Sub-orbital travel is already capable of flights from one part of the world to another in short periods of time[17]. For instance, Virgin Galactic has mentioned that its’ first sub-orbital vehicle could also be used to make super-fast intercity trips.If the cost of sub-orbital flights drop significantly, intercity flight may have potential applications for high urgency cargo flights, urgent military responses, or even business or commercial travel where passengers experience the excitement of space while traveling from continent to continent[18]. Space Manufacturing: Space manufacturing is the production of manufactured goods in space.
As one can imagine, the manufacturing environment in space, which typically includes conditions of microgravity and hard vacuum, is inherently different from earth-based manufacturing environments.This space environment can allow for manufacturing processes that are not possible or cost-effective on earth, or are more effective than earth-based manufacturing processes[19]. For example, a microgravity environment allows for bacteria to build faster and denser, and antibiotics to grow at an “enhanced” level, which can be a large benefit to pharmaceutical companies looking to increase yields and lower costs[20]. Manufacturing in space also minimizes the risk of environmental harm to the Earth or other planets, especially with respect to hazardous processes.The energy costs of sending materials required to build manufacturing facilities is a significant barrier to this industry; hence, low cost access to space will greatly contribute to the development of this industry. Space Mining: Space mining is the mining of astronomical objects in space. Asteroids, meteoroids, the Moon and planets may yield precious metals, water, iron, and perhaps even substances yet to be discovered.
Some estimates indicate that Space Mining could be a $10 billion industry by 2030. Lower cost access to space would enable space mining to be a more realistic space activity.Space-based Solar Power Satellites: Space-based solar power has the potential to supply a significant percentage of the world’s electricity demand[21]. In space, the energy from the sun is available at all times. Additionally, satellites in space do not have to contend with clouds and other atmospheric interferences. As a result, satellites in space can collect up to eight times more energy than terrestrial solar cells. Delivering hundreds of gigawatts of solar-generated electric power to Earth would require the construction of a system of orbiting satellites, and would therefore also require millions of tons of components in Earth orbit.
Therefore, low cost access to space is a requirement for this space industry to become a reality[22]. How would they benefit us? No one would have predicted that space-related research and activities would lead to the discovery of several products and technologies we take for granted here on earth. MRI technology, which provides doctors with detailed images of the internal structure of the human body, was developed from an image enhancement technique created to improve the sharpness of moon photographs.The insulin pump, which automatically delivers precise amounts of insulin to diabetics, is based on technology used by the Viking craft that landed on Mars. Ski goggles, which offer fog-free sight, were adapted from astronaut’s helmet designs[23]. What new discoveries will result from the Private Space Race? Perhaps the development of spacecraft for space tourism may lead to new insights in materials science, or contribute to advancements in fuel technology applicable to air and terrestrial transportation vehicles.Perhaps the challenge of designing and constructing hotels in the unique environment in space will provide insights into more effective and efficient ways of designing and constructing buildings, which may then be applied to terrestrial architecture.
While it is quite early to speculate what new products, processes, and technologies might emerge from activities related to the development of the space tourism industry, it is nonetheless worthwhile noting that the implications of space tourism will not be limited to activities in space; our home planet will benefit as well.SPACE TOURISM IN INDIA India is a land with abundant resources be it technology, manpower or space research. With its 335 unused airports and airstrips and a worthy population counting in crores India can with ease start off its own space tourism business but the only impediment would be the time taken to unhurdle the legal impediments in the country and some more time to gather the technology and train personnel for a new and risky activity. India has one of the most stringent standards for pilots and aircrafts and it makes for better personnel and equipment of international standards.Be it IT or space we have engineers and managers for every field. We have our own space research center in ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) which has lunar launch capable rockets and technology. Recently it even overcame the problem of its chandrayan mission by using its resources to navigate the satellite and further extending its life and that of the mission and also has spotted water on moon which an achievement.
Infrastructure facilities are no problem in India as there as 135 unused airports which can be converted into space ports by after considering their feasibility.Its only when the regulatory impediments are smoothened that the commercialization of the space travel can be made possible in India. For the purpose a strong lobby must be created which would satisfy the people that this would be both economically and socially and internationally beneficial for the country. It would be close battle between the benefits and risks involved in the business and in order to bring in the requisite laws the benefits have to overpower the risks. And about the prime resource i. e. the tourists let’s take a tour through the market study conducted on the HNIs in India.
The HNIs were considered under the following criteria: Sub orbital tourism 1. Income > 3 crores 2. Net worth > 15 Crores As the time passes and the prices come down more and more people would be able to afford the journey. RISKS “Those who are involved suffer .. but what about the general public??? ” Risk being an inherent nature of a higher degree of a new venture is not an excuse, waiving off the liabilities or fears submerged in the innocent people who neither can pay nor are fully aware that a spacecraft can crash land on their terraces any time.It’s a very volatile business and could be compared to the business Concorde offered, only luxury for the few privileged.
Being such an expensive venture itself is a risk for the amount at stake, leave alone the losses but it would put a dark cloud over the other companies that have already invested millions in developing business. One hurdle towards that task is that different people have different perspectives on what risk is and how to deal with it. The technical risk involved with flying a suborbital vehicle can often be very different than the risk perceived by those watching the flight, or those responsible for regulating such flights.For example, at a press conference last week, Burt Rutan said he didn’t consider SpaceShipOne’s suborbital flight in June its riskiest flight[24]. First flight into sub orbit The flight was the first of two planned launch attempts to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize, a competition designed to spur construction of reusable manned spacecraft. While successful, the flight had its share of danger, when SpaceShipOne went into an unexpected roll near the top of its trajectory, spinning some 20 times[25]. The incident, combined with a control issue during a previous SpaceShipOne flight, highlights the risk inherent in space travel.
That risk, present during the entire Space Age, could grow as the industry is privatized. Burt Rutan, the engineer behind SpaceShipOne, told SPACE. com in a Sept. 23 telephone interview that there is “no way” that SpaceShipOne would be as safe as a 747 jetliner. Instead, he said, he and his team are aiming at achieving the safety rates of the early airliners. This isn’t like flying airplanes, or United. What they are doing is hard.
Preparing for the new risks can mean adjustments as a culture and as a society.Despite the increased risk, people will pay for a ride that goes fast and a ride that goes high, analysts say[26]. For example, adventure seekers and mountaineers pay upwards of $100,000 to scale mountains such as Everest or the challenging K2, knowing they might not return. On a regular airplane, McCurdy said, the risk of not making it to your destination is about 1 in 10 million, while on a military combat mission the odds are about 1 in 23,000. Military risk levels, rather than the current 1 in 50 for human spaceflight, could be a good target for Rutan’s and other spacecraft, he added.The rockets that would be used in space travel would be hybrid ones and not thoroughly tested in the sense, the number of flights hours undergone. There would always be a fear in the minds of the public, which of course would be fed in by the critics, that the engines might blast or give up mid way but then they must be explained that when in atmosphere these spacecrafts would glide and would comfortably make it to an airport closest and there is danger in everything activity does even breathing is no longer safe with the amount of pollution.
People tend to compare X planes with the spaceships .. here as X planes were for experimental purpose the later are for commercial purpose and need to be safer and economically efficient. Most of the failures in X planes are listed as due to explosion or some other catastrophic engine failure. That wouldn’t seem to be an issue with hybrid based rockets. In an abort situation, the X planes were capable of jettisoning fuel, a whole new argument about the difficulty of jettisoning fuel or oxidizer from a hybrid rocket. This completely misses the point; you wouldn’t ‘need’ to dump the fuel or oxidizer from a hybrid rocket to avoid an explosion.
There’s a fundamental safety difference between an engine running on LOX & kerosene and one running on nitrous oxide & rubber. If we run our numbers right intuitively, suborbital flight should seem a bit dangerous. I myself wouldn’t risk it for any thing less than a moon or asteroid excursion. Actually I hope the fear of death doesn’t stop them! Another thing worth mentioning despite Burt Rutan’s notion that orbital tourism will be the next step suborbital flights and orbital flights are totally different animals.A reusable cost effective orbital machine is really an out there concept. Sure we’d all love to see it but suspect we’ll have to wait for a space elevator which to me seems much more sane (! ). And of course not to forget the transportation and storage of rocket fuels which is itself a risky activity and substance.
Cryogenic storage of the rocket is very important and the transfers would be more recurring as the business would gain momentum. The handling of the machines rockets and the aircrafts would have to be performed by well trained personnel.The companies following would have be on close watch on the mistakes from the previous ones and learn in order to make this business live or risks itself could kill the new and budding industry. The aviation industry learned from its mistakes and has developed, so will the space industry. CONCLUSION If space tourism develops as I suggest, it will have a number of important implications for the rest of the world. First, if one million tourists per year are paying $10,000 for an orbital trip in 20 years time, commercial investment is likely to be rapid, leading to a market of perhaps 20 million passengers per year within a further 20 years.Second, of the changes taking place in the world, one of the most important for humanity is economic growth in the developing countries, where living standards are generally very low.
As current and emerging trends in Space Tourism has created a buzz among the earthlings. With its attractive features it has been able to drag the attention of the people towards space as a venue for a exotic destination. The avenue that was open only to few is now being thrown open to the general public.As there are many more avenues to be exploited in space but that’s left to the minds inquisitiveness and curiosity. There are several concepts of new space industries waiting to be developed, many of which are hindered by the high cost of sending materials, objects, or people into space. India is a land with abundant resources be it technology, manpower or space research. India has one of the most stringent standards for pilots and aircrafts and it makes for better personnel and equipment of international standards.
Moreover, Space Tourism is an expensive venture itself is a risk for the amount at stake, leave alone the losses but it would put a dark cloud over the other companies that have already invested millions in developing business. One hurdle towards that task is that different people have different perspectives on what risk is and how to deal with it. The technical risk involved with flying a suborbital vehicle can often be very different than the risk perceived by those watching the flight, or those responsible for regulating such flights.Therefore,the aviation industry learned from its mistakes and has developed, so will the space industry.en.
wikipedia. org/wiki/British_television_science_fiction www. msnbc. msn.
com/id/18056610/http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Space_manufacturinghttp://www.
thespacereview. com/article/239/1http://www. space. com/missionlaunches/spacetourism_future_040930.
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