ESA to help Europe prepare for space tourism

July 21, 2006

With summer here, many people are thinking about their holiday destination. At the European Space Agency, this means thinking about a holiday in space! ESA is planning to help up to three private companies develop business plans to get their space tourism ventures off the ground.

The new initiative is called 'The Survey of European Privately-funded Vehicles for Commercial Human Spaceflight', and is part of ESA's General Studies Programme (GSP), whose role is to assess the feasibility of mission concepts. Under this initiative, private companies across Europe already involved in planning activities for space tourism are invited to submit their space tourism plans.

ESA's General Studies Programme will select up to three of the proposals for further study. Each selected company will receive 150,000 Euro to further develop their plans. A team of experts from ESA's Launchers Directorate, who are involved in the development of the technologies for the next generation launcher, will manage the selected studies and share their expertise with the companies.

The aim of the study will be to critically review the spacecraft design and mission profiles, ensuring they are technically feasible, and develop sound business plans in order to allow companies to approach potential investors. An interesting aspect of the study will be to define the experiences the space tourists can expect, such as how much time they will spend in weightlessness, how much training they will need and how fit they need to be.

ESA's interest in space tourism has been increasing thanks to a number of internal studies conducted over the last three years. In each case, the studies showed the potential for developing the commercial human spaceflight market. This is the first time an ESA study aims to involve private companies working in the development of crewed space vehicles for the space tourism market.

Source: ESA

Explore further: NASA space station cargo launches from Virginia on orbital ATK resupply mission

Related Stories

Smart electrical systems pay off, research shows

October 18, 2016

The economic viability of an energy system that saves money for utilities and consumers by reducing demand peaks on the electrical supply grid has been demonstrated by a prototype energy lab at The University of Alabama in ...

Who will shape the future of the data society?

October 18, 2016

The contemporary world is held together by a vast and overlapping fabric of information systems. These information systems do not only tell us things about the world around us. They also play a central role in organising ...

Recommended for you

NASA missions harvest a passel of 'pumpkin' stars

October 27, 2016

Astronomers using observations from NASA's Kepler and Swift missions have discovered a batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun. The stars, which spin ...

A dead star's ghostly glow

October 27, 2016

The eerie glow of a dead star, which exploded long ago as a supernova, reveals itself in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Crab Nebula. But don't be fooled. The ghoulish-looking object still has a pulse. Buried ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.