ESA to help Europe prepare for space tourism

Jul 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: Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

Related Stories

Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks

Mar 27, 2015

Germany-based automation company Festo, focused on technologies for tasks, turns to nature for inspiration, trying to take the cues from how nature performs tasks so efficiently. "Whether it's energy efficiency, ...

Recommended for you

Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

10 hours ago

No matter how beautiful or crystal clear the bubbling waters of an oasis may be, they seldom lead to technology breakthroughs. Yet, NASA's OASIS investigation's bubbles may lead to an ocean of new improvements ...

Zapping away space junk

19 hours ago

Planet Earth is surrounded. Thousands of tons of dangerous space debris circle in low orbit, threatening serious damage, even death, if any were to strike the International Space Station. A proposal by a ...

Ariane 5's first launch of 2015

21 hours ago

An Ariane 5 has lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

User comments : 0

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.