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: Mars, Saturn and the claws of Scorpius

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research brings to light businesses' energy use

14 hours ago

According to Oxford University researchers, many retailers, including those with smart meters, are not actively 'managing' how much energy they use and are paying larger energy bills than they need to. Under ...

Energy equation points to cell autonomy

Aug 15, 2014

The mechanical and metabolic energies of cells have been explored through the use of order-of-magnitude estimates, highlighting the energy required for cell shape changes.

Is anyone immune to the social media echo chamber?

Aug 13, 2014

It's becoming increasingly obvious that as we spend more time communicating via social media, we are disappearing into bubbles. We receive information from the same sources and witness the views of the same ...

Beyond tapping and sliding

Aug 06, 2014

"The way we design computers today," Microsoft researcher Hong Tan says, "it would seem that people only use their eyes."

UK mini-laboratory catches up with double comet

Aug 05, 2014

This week, on 6 August, a mini-laboratory developed and built at the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is due to rendezvous with a comet.

Recommended for you

Mars, Saturn and the claws of Scorpius

1 hour ago

Look up at the night sky this week and you'll find Mars and Saturn together in the west. Mars stands out with its reddish colouring and you might just be able to detect a faint yellow tinge to Saturn. ...

Electric sparks may alter evolution of lunar soil

4 hours ago

The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but modeling done by University of New Hampshire and NASA scientists suggests that, over the eons, periodic storms of solar energetic particles may have significantly ...

User comments : 0