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Space Future has been on something of a hiatus of late. With the concept of Space Tourism steadily increasing in acceptance, and the advances of commercial space, much of our purpose could be said to be achieved. But this industry is still nascent, and there's much to do. So...watch this space.
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Y Funatsu, 2002, "Interests of Japanese Airlines in Space", ISTS 2002-o-5-06v.
Also downloadable from http://www.spacefuture.com/archive/interests of japanese airlines in space.shtml

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Interests of Japanese Airlines in Space
Yoshi Funatsu
Abstract
The Japanese Rocket Society's "Space Tourism Commercialisation Research Forum" held meetings every two months through 2000 and 2001, and its Final Report was published on February 14, 2002. A large part of the membership came from the aviation industry, and the Forum's activities comprised a series of seminars for explanation and discussion of the issues arising in planning a commercial space tourism industry. In addition, two workshops were established, one of which considered the specifications for a first generation of passenger space vehicle, and the other the feasibility of establishing a Japanese Space Transportation Association. The paper describes the main conclusions arising from the Forum's activities.
Introduction

Formal research on space tourism in Japan began in 1993, when the Japanese Rocket Society (established in 1956) selected space tourism as its new major research field. Since then, research committees on " Spaceship Design and Its Evaluation", " Commercialization of Space Tourism", " Legal Framework for Commercial Space Transportation" and "Definition of Tasks for Space Tourism" were established and each of them produced useful results such as a conceptual design of a spaceship for tourism " Kankoh-maru" (see Figure 1) and its evaluation [1, 2], and an analysis of the prospects of commercial space tourism enterprises [3, 4].

Figure 1: Conceptual space tourism vehicle design " Kankoh-maru"

The latest committee on "Definition of Tasks for Space Tourism" (formally named the "Space Tourism Commercialization Research Forum") completed its task in December 2001 and published the final report on its activities on February 14, 2002 [5]. One of the unique features of this Research Forum was the composition of the membership. The majority of the membership represented airlines and associations related to air transportation - the 'airline community' in short. The research work of the Forum involved key-note presentations by authorities on space activities, analysis of reference papers on space, discussion of relevant topics, and workshop activities.

Space Tourism Commercialization Research Forum Results

The results of the research work are summarized in the following set of proposals, which is intended to facilitate the realization of commercial space tourism. It is sincerely hoped that there proposals are passed on to the space industry people for their study, generating for the first time a dialog between the current space industry people and airline people, concerning a would-be new species of space industry. Such dialog is bound to contribute in large measure to the benefit of both parties.

From January 2000 to December 2001 the Forum was engaged in the compilation of proposals intended for dissemination among those concerned with commercial space transportation, in particular space tourism in the future. Some of these proposals are outlined below.

  1. Citizenship in Space

    Space is a new frontier and has been exploited for the benefits of government interests, scientific developments and satellite oriented enterprises. No doubt the people representing these interests claim that they have citizenship in space. But consumers also are now beginning to declare diffidently that citizenship of space is not only the monopoly of the current space industry people, but also they too have citizenship in space.

  2. National Space Exploitation Policies

    Some countries have national policies prescribing a road-map for the exploitation of space. They authorize government-designed development projects, but assume an air of total indifference to projects not specifically spelled out in them. If such national policies continue to have influence on space development activities in the future, they should be revised to include commercial space tourism, as one of the authorized fields of space development policies.

  3. Necessity of Re-motivation of Current Space Industry Professionals

    The space industry is certainly one of the most technologically advanced ones, but is it not time now to see if it can be modified to include consideration for commercial space tourism? In other words, it should be able to respond to the need for commercialization of space for consumers.

  4. Timing of Realization of Space Tourism

    In this tough world of today, companies have to survive severe competition. In any business, belated start of the business often proves to be a big handicap for competition. Therefore, a new business has to keep in mind a suitable target timing for a successful start-up.

  5. Specification for Spaceships

    In the aviation community, a business term "working together" has been popular for some time now. This business practice has helped work out a successful specification for a new transport aeroplane. This is accomplished through a collaborative group of engineers from a manufacturer and major airlines in the world who work together to define the most desirable specification for them all.

    It may be interesting to recall the letter which Jack Frye, TWA's Vice-President for operations, sent to Donald Douglas, President of Douglas Aircraft in 1932 which resulted in the successful development of the DC-3. In view of such a background, our forum came up with a general specification for the first-generation spaceships for tourism. Playing 'catch' between spaceship manufacturers and us from the airline community can start in this way for the first time.

  6. Entrepreneurs' Preference of Nationality of Spaceships

    Entrepreneurs are interested in safety, profitability and availability. The spaceships manufactured in their own country will be welcomed by the entrepreneurs if they meet the above requirements.

  7. Need for Global Infrastructure

    This need is self-explanatoryif one examines the infrastructure for the air transport business which has many things in common with space tourism.

  8. Environmental Concern

    Any business today is expected to contribute positively to the improvement of the environments of the Earth. In the case of the space industry, one should take to heart that the success of space tourism will help reduce space transportation costs, contributing to 'breaking the ice' for the space power generation system ( SPS).

  9. Strategy

    It is prudent to identify clearly who is for and who is against space tourism. Targets for actions should not be left ambiguous.

  10. Attractions of Space

    Space must be able to offer charming attractions to consumers. There are a variety of things which consumers are longing to find in space. I shall not be surprised if there are people who want to visit 'Disney Spaceworld' in outer space in the future.

Administrative Item
The Space Tourism Commercialization Research Forum was dissolved as planned in December 2001, but the research work carried out by the Forum is now handed to the Japan Aeronautical Association (JAA) which established the Air and&Space Transportation Research Committee in August 2001 within the JAA.
References
  1. Anon, 1995, " Spaceship Design and Its Evaluation", Japanese Rocket Society (in Japanese).
  2. Anon, 1997, " Commercialization of Space Tourism", Japanese Rocket Society (in Japanese).
  3. Anon, 1998, " The Goal of Realising Space Tourism, and the Hurdles in View", Japanese Rocket Society (in Japanese).
  4. Anon, 2000, " Legal Framework for Commercial Space Transportation", Japanese Rocket Society (in Japanese).
  5. Anon, 2002, " Realising Passenger Space Travel on the Basis of Aviation Infrastructure", Japanese Rocket Society (in Japanese).
Y Funatsu, 2002, "Interests of Japanese Airlines in Space", ISTS 2002-o-5-06v.
Also downloadable from http://www.spacefuture.com/archive/interests of japanese airlines in space.shtml

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