BSP Managing Director David Ashford delivered an invited speech “Space Tourism – The key to Low Cost Access to Space” to the session on “Access to Space, Space Tourism and Public Outreach” at ESA’s Workshop on Space Exploration and Resources Exploitation (ExploSpace) held in Sardinia, October 20-22. One of only three papers on space tourism, David Ashford explained its potential importance in providing the large-scale launch market that is essential to reduce launch costs, and outlined a low-risk development strategy for two-stage, horizontal take-off passenger carrying vehicles.
In the closing session it was suggested that ESA policy towards space tourism may be on the point of changing – surely only slightly, but it should not be forgotten that the proportional change from a zero budget to an actual budget is infinite.
Recent moves endorsing space tourism in a joint report General Public Space Travel And Tourism by NASA and the US Space Transportation Association (STA), and in a Working Group Report published by the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics (AIAA) may have had some influence on ESA too!
For more details see a report on the workshop here.