Carbon Dioxide Emissions Resulting from Space Tourism

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S. Fawkes (2007), JBIS, 60, 409-413

Refcode: 2007.60.409
Keywords: Space tourism, spaceports, carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, carbon footprint, carbon offsetting

An earlier paper by the author examined the links between space tourism and sustainable development. One important aspect of sustainable development is environmental impact and within that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission is a key issue as it is linked to climate change. Space tourism operators need to consider the environmental impact of their operations and in particular measure their total carbon emissions (“carbon footprint”) and then put in place arrangements to reduce or offset them. This paper presents some initial calculations on the carbon dioxide emissions likely to result from both sub-orbital and orbital space tourism flights and discusses options and prices for carbon offsetting. The effect of scaling up the space tourism industry is also considered.

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