The Economic Benefits of Space Tourism

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P. Collins (2006), JBIS, 59, 400-410

Refcode: 2006.59.400
Keywords: Space tourism, passenger space travel, launch costs, space option, resource wars

The recent growth of activities towards developing passenger space travel services is very promising; however there is a widespread but mistaken idea that space tourism will remain a small-scale activity of the very wealthy. The truth is that, having been delayed for over three decades by government space agencies' failure to develop more than a small fraction of the commercial potential of space, the start of space travel services is long overdue, and so they are capable of growing rapidly into a major new industry. That is, the technical and business know-how exists to enable space tourism to grow to a turnover of 100 billion Euros/year within a few decades if it receives public support of even 10% of space agencies budgets. This development would sharply reduce the cost of accessing the resources of space, which could prevent the spread of the “resource wars” which have begun so ominously. No activity therefore offers greater economic benefits than the rapid development of low-cost space tourism services. A range of government policies should be revised to reflect this.

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