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: How to clean up space debris – using game theory

Related Stories

How to clean up space debris – using game theory

November 13, 2015

A piece of debris just 10cm in diameter could cause an entire spacecraft to disintegrate and it is estimated that there are more than 29,000 objects larger than 10cm in Earth's orbit. This poses a major risk to the spacecraft ...

Making economics relevant

November 17, 2015

A team of researchers at Singapore Management University investigates the complex relationships between economy, geography, real estate and health to unravel important policy implications.

CubeSats in deep space

November 3, 2015

(—Tiny spacecraft have their ambitions of space exploration too. The small-sized satellites called CubeSats, made of box-shaped four-inch units, are successfully operating in the low Earth orbit, conducting a variety ...

Recommended for you

NASA's space-station resupply missions to relaunch

November 29, 2015

NASA's commercial space program returns to flight this week as one of its private cargo haulers, Orbital ATK, is to launch its first supply shipment to the International Space Station in more than 13 months.


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.