The Opportunities for Star Tourism as a Motivation for Space Tourism

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D.H.R. Spennemann (2007), JBIS, 60, 414-418

Refcode: 2007.60.414
Keywords: Space tourism, star tourism, astronomical observations

Abstract:
By necessity, current star tourism is an outward looking, Earth-bound and geo-centric opportunity with the observer's window to the skies constrained by his/her location. The emergent area of space tourism offers to remove such constraints. Moreover, as it visually and experientially places Earth into the context of other planets, space tourism will provide the tourist with a literally different perspective. While the selling point of sub-orbital tourism is still largely focused on weightlessness and the opportunity of seeing Earth from orbit, it will also offer the tourist brief opportunities for viewing stars from a different point of view. Orbital, lunar and planetary tourism, be it `real' (through tourists in space) or virtual (via pay-per-drive remote controlled rovers), moves from a geo-centric opportunity spectrum to one that provides views of Earth in space as part of a suite of offerings that encompasses views of planets and stars wholly unencumbered by atmospheric disturbances, and also unencumbered by constraints of the spatial positioning of the observer in relation to the sector of the universe viewed. This paper reviews various proposed scenarios of orbital, lunar and interplanetary tourism and examines the opportunity spectra each these provide for star tourism.

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