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R Zahari, N R Zakaria, A A A Majid & J Othman, 14 May 2007, "The Symbiotic Relationship between Astronaut Program and Space Tourism Development - A Third World Perspective", Presented at 2nd IAASS Conference, Chicago, 15 May 2007.
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The Symbiotic Relationship between Astronaut Program and Space Tourism Development - A Third World Perspective

Norul Ridzuan Zakaria(1)
Dato' Ramly Zahari(2)
A. Prof. Abd Azis Abd Majid(3)
Jamaludin Othman(4)
ABSTRACT
There have been several third world countries which have sent astronauts to orbit in the past decades, and there will be more third world countries that will send astronauts to orbit in years to come. After the emergence of space tourism, where private astronauts or "space tourists" were allowed to stay onboard the International Space Station, there is no difference between space tourists and government-funded astronauts from third world countries, because both of them become customers of the same space program. Malaysia is an example of a third world country which is planning to send an astronaut to the space station through the program which is also available for space tourists. Because of the lower per-capita income and lower government budget in Malaysia compared to that of developed countries, there will be no other astronaut after the first, unless other space programs with lower cost are available. Due to that, space tourism, which has been identified as the alternative lower cost space program, will possibly be promoted by the astronaut program itself, and the astronaut program, which needs remain popular, will therefore be able to maintain its popularity. This possibility will make governments of the third world, which have sent astronauts to space, become strong supporters of space tourism. This paper studies the symbiotic relationship between an astronaut program of a third world country and space tourism development in the country.
1. INTRODUCTION

The "first world" countries are located in North America and Western Europe and include Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, while the second-world countries were under the influence of USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) during the Cold War. Several countries in the first and second world have sent astronauts to space. Their astronaut programs were influenced either by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or the space agency of the USSR.

The rest of the world is known as the "third world." Countries of this region either do not have space agencies or have small space agencies with very limited activities. They have received no or only very limited cooperation from NASA or the space agency of the USSR.

However, since 1978, when Vladimir Remek from Czechoslovakia became the first astronaut who was neither American nor Russian, several third-world countries have launched their own astronaut program with cooperation from NASA or the space agency the USSR to send their astronauts to orbit [1].

These third world astronaut programs are being implemented in order to promote the country's image internationally and to provide confidence and pride to its people. These programs have a different objective from that of the first world, which has been contributing to space science and technology through continuous experiments and studies conducted onboard the ISS and space shuttle missions.

These third-world countries can send their astronauts to space only once because the high cost prevents a multiple trip. However, the rise in both educational level and economic standing of the third world has increased the awareness of the general public in the 21st century. And if a third world county has an astronaut program, it cannot send only one astronaut. Instead, it must create a program that will give its citizens the opportunity to be selected as astronauts in the near future.

Currently, the lowest-cost astronaut program available to the third world is the program offered by Roscosmos (Russia's Federal Space Agency). This astronaut program enables astronauts from the third world to be transported by Soyuz launch vehicle onboard the ISS ( International Space Station). However, the cost of USD25 million per trip cannot be considered as low enough for the third world. This program is also available as a space tourism program.

Therefore, a third-world country with an astronaut program will need to promote another program as a continuation of its astronaut program, so that the astronaut program will not be considered as an economic burden by its citizen and become unpopular.

A suitable program will be similar to the astronaut program, able to involve as many people as possible, and affordable at lower cost compared to the astronaut program. Such a program is space tourism development activities.

Because building a space tourism vehicle will be more expensive than sending an astronaut to space, space tourism development activities do not require a thirdworld country to build a passenger-carrying orbital vehicle. The program can consist only of activities that contribute to the development of space tourism, which involves as many of the general public as possible. The government needs only to organise public programs such as space tourism lectures, exhibitions, and competitions and provide administrative support to space tourism activists and organisations. This is already enough to contribute to and be part of space tourism development. The program will be able to make the people feel as if they are part of a project and to provide an opportunity for them to go to space, like astronauts.

If their country has one, the people of the third world will consider their country's astronaut program as an important catalyst for space tourism, and the astronaut program may evolve into a public space travel program.

The possible evolution of a government astronaut program into a public space travel program will be very attractive to third-world governments who have their own astronaut program. Such an evolution may be difficult if not impossible in the first or second world, but in the third world it is possible and convenient due to the economic requirement and lack of scientific objectives of the astronaut program. This evolution is the symbiotic relationship between an astronaut program and space tourism development, because each of them continuously benefits from the other.

2. A CASE STUDY: ASTRONAUT PROGRAM AND SPACE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA
2.1. The Government Astronaut Program

In early 2003, the Malaysian government announced its intention to send an astronaut to the ISS by 2006. Later, the government announced that it will send an astronaut to the space station by the end of 2007 via the same package offered by Roscosmos to space tourists.

The astronaut program became very popular in Malaysia when the government announced in newspapers, TV, and websites that it was looking for suitable candidates of Malaysian citizenship to be trained as astronauts. By October 2003, 10,000 Malaysians applied for the astronaut candidacy, which requires the candidate at least have a first degree or professional pilot license, as well as to be healthy.

Out of the 10,000 applicants, 900 were short-listed, and finally by September 2006, two were selected for the training for the trip to the ISS. However, only one candidate will be taken to the space station by Soyuz launch vehicle, while the other one will remain as a substitute. According to the latest announcement by the Malaysian government, the astronaut will be taken to the space station in October 2007.

But after the two candidates had been selected, the astronaut program became less popular with the general public, because they realised that there would be no more opportunity for them to be selected as astronauts. Because of this, they felt that they were no longer involved with the program. They have started to question the economics of the program, because it is very expensive

Although the government has announced that the astronaut program will be paid through the purchase of military aircraft from Russia, the people still consider that the program is not free of charge, and the cost incurred is still USD25 million. As a result, the astronaut program has become unpopular and has received a lot of negative comments.

The general public also question the future of the astronaut program. They wonder about the activities of the astronaut in space and the financial requirement of the activities after the astronaut returns. The idea of having the astronaut only speaking about his experience onboard the ISS has become unattractive to the public, considering the large amount of money the program is charging the tax payers

2.2. The Space Tourism Development Activities

Space tourism was first promoted in Malaysia as early as July 1999, when a public lecture on space studies, organised by Perak state government, with space tourism as the major content, was presented by one of the authors at the School of Aerospace Engineering, University of Science Malaysia. In the lecture, the author stated that the management of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) should consider the emergence of space tourism, which will affect the design and operation of the airport. This statement was reported by a major English language newspaper in Malaysia a day after the lecture.

The following month, the author gave a public lecture at Terengganu Science Centre on the possibility of developing KLIA into a spaceport for space tourism by 2020, to be named Kuala Lumpur International Spaceport. The lecture was reported together with a popular caricature about the spaceport development plan on the front page of a major Malay language newspaper in the country.

Figure 1. The popular caricature in a local major Malay language newspaper on August 1999 about the proposed development of Kuala Lumpur International Airport as a spaceport for space tourism.

The two reported lectures indicated that the idea of converting an existing airport to a spaceport already popular in Malaysia since 1999.

On February 2000, the author established a voluntary organisation, Institut Kajian Aero dan Angkasa Malaysia (IKAM) or Malaysian Institute of Aero and Space Studies, to promote space tourism in Malaysia. On September 2002, the organisation signed an agreement with Space Future Consulting in London, United Kingdom, to jointly promote space tourism in Malaysia, resulting in visits by Professor Patrick Collins, a well-known space tourism expert, to the country to give public lectures at universities and attend meetings on space tourism with various government agencies in the country, since 2004 until the time of writing. These lectures and meetings have significantly contributed to space tourism development in Malaysia.

On February 2003, Malaysian Institute of Aero and Space Studies printed and circulated a book, written in Malay language, "Pengenalan Ekonomi Angkasa" or "Introductory Space Economics," with a chapter on space tourism, which has clearly described sub-orbital and orbital tourism [2]. This book was the first such book written in Malaysia and in Malay language.

In the book, there is a drawing of a sub-orbital spaceplane with a twin-boom design where a passenger is carried inside a capsule on each boom. Each capsule is equipped with a small rocket engine, a communication system, and a parachute, so that it can be separated from the spaceplane and landed safely on Earth in case of an emergency, including hijacking. Such design indicates emphasise on safety. The spaceplane is equipped with two jet engines and two rocket engines and named Langkasa (space eagle) [2].

Figure 2. Illustration of Langkasa as published in Pengenalan Ekonomi Angkasa (Introductory Space Economics).

The unique design of the spaceplane enables the capsules and the passengers inside them to be clearly video-photographed from various angles all the time during the flight. Video-cameras will be installed on both sides of the fuselage oriented towards the capsules. This multiple angles video recording cannot be performed if the passengers are located inside a cabin in the fuselage together with the pilot. Langkasa is the first sub-orbital spaceplane concept published in Malaysia, and the first twin-boom sub-orbital spaceplane with the passengers at the booms concept ever published in the world.

At the time of writing, the design has been revised for the reduction of front cross section area to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag particularly during reentry [3].

On February 2004, the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, University Technology MARA Shah Alam and Malaysian Institute of Aero and Space Studies organised a public lecture on the significance of space tourism to Malaysia by Professor Patrick Collins. Since then, one of the authors, the Dean of the faculty, has become the leading academician in the country to promote space tourism, and the university, the largest university in Malaysia, and a public university, has become the most active university in the country, in organising public lectures on space tourism.

On November 2004, the Perak state government officially declared its support for space tourism development in Malaysia when its Chief Minister announced that the state government would allow its airport in the state capital to be used for space tourism operation [4]. The Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh, Perak is considered the most suitable airport in the country to be developed as spaceport for space tourism because the airport has very low flight frequency, but enough facilities such as terminal and runway to support medium size passenger jet, such as Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, and also located at the most developed region in the country very close to Kuala Lumpur.

The announcement by the Perak state government occurs after the Chief Minister and State Executive Councillors attended the official presentation by Space Future Consulting on the potential of space tourism in Perak. The presentation was made possible through the efforts of one of the senior State Executive Councillors, one of the authors. The announcement, which was reported by all major newspapers, magazines, and TV channels in Malaysia, was the most significant contribution to space tourism development in Malaysia, because it was the first such announcement made by a very senior minister in the country and a state government of the third world.

The announcement was followed by an official letter by one of the authors representing Perak state government to Space Future Consulting, which described the state government's support for space tourism [5]. This letter has become a historic document in the development of space tourism in the third world.

Since then, universities and educational bodies in Malaysia have organised public lectures on space tourism, and several government agencies' senior officials, including ministers, have held meetings on space tourism with space tourism activists. Two of the authors have also briefed the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia about space tourism. Major newspapers and magazines in the country have started publishing reports and articles on space tourism.

On December 2005, the first official meeting was held between Space Future Consulting and the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation on the operation of a spaceport and spaceplanes in the country. The department since then has opened a file specifically on the operation of a spaceport and spaceplanes in Malaysia and the development of space tourism in the country, and become the first government agency in the third world to do so.

On July 2006, the Space Tourism Society Malaysia Chapter was established by space tourism activists in Malaysia and the Space Tourism Society. The chapter is the 6th chapter of the Space Tourism Society in the world and second chapter in Asia. It has established its branches at colleges and schools in the country.

In August, a book, which was written by all the authors, "Space Tourism - New Economy & Technology for Developing Countries" was printed by one of the authors and circulated in the country [6]. In the book, there are descriptions of several new ideas on space tourism, such as space tourism simulator and space tourism observatory.

The space tourism simulator is a digital planetarium with 90O angle of tilt and full dome video that creates the effect of being onboard a space tourism flight. The guests will feel as if they are looking out of a big window located at the front of the vehicle when they watch the show on the vertical dome screen, which is between 6 metres and 8 metres wide. A projection system with a single projector located at the centre of the vertical plane of the dome screen and commercially available software enables the creation of this simulator [6].

Figure 3.1. Front view of space tourism simulator as described in "Space Tourism - New Economy and Technology for Developing Countries".
Figure 3.2. Side view of space tourism simulator as described in Space Tourism – New Economy and Technology for Developing Countries.

At the time of writing, the design of the simulator has been revised due to the availability of a new projection system where only a projector at the perimeter of the vertical dome screen and half of the dome screen are required. The new design can include more seats, is less expensive to install, and produces a more realistic space tourism simulation.

Another unique space tourism facility described in the book is the space tourism observatory. The observatory will be equipped with high-resolution optical telescope specially designed for space tourism observation. The subjects of interest for observation will be sub-orbital flights, orbital flights, and space hotels [6].

This observatory will function as both recreational and research facility. Space tourism activities, such as suborbital flight, can be an interesting but also important scientific research subjects. Since some sub-orbital spaceplanes use both jet engines and rocket engines, scientific visual observation can be done on the suborbital flight profile, since it involves the application of different type of engines and employs different kinds of manoeuvres at different atmospheric conditions [6].

Detailed observation and scientific analyses of the flight profile of spaceplanes using methods similar to astrophysical methods will be important for the improvement of the vehicles' design and technology. These activities will be important for flight safety because they may help prevent accidents, and if there would be any, the observation result will be useful to prevent similar accidents [6].

The most important equipment at the observatory will be the optical telescope specially designed to observe sub-orbital flight profile. Most probably the telescope will be designed and operated very similar to the design and operation of anti-aircraft gun. The telescope will be able to automatically track and observe the location and motion of the sub-orbital spaceplane. Therefore the telescope will function synchronically with radar system specially designed for tracking spaceplanes. The telescope may become a major component of a safety system for space tourism flight management.

Recreational observation may also be of interest to the public, who cannot afford their own space tourism flight. They may wish to enjoy the flight by being at the observatory as much as possible because the observatory provides the best available viewing opportunities of space tourism activities. Observing space tourism activities, such as a sub-orbital flight, can be as enjoyable for some as watching athletes surf or ski jump [6].

When observing for recreation, the observers will view from inside a digital planetarium, which will receive images recorded by the telescope. The purpose of the digital planetarium is to maximise the visual effect and present a full dome video format show to complete the presentation.

At the time of writing, the second edition of the book, with forewords from several ministers, is being published by a government-sponsored foundation in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Malaysian independence and Visit Malaysia Year 2007 [7]. However, the title of the book will be "Space Tourism - New Economy & Technology for Malaysia", with the contents more focused on the economic and technological potential of space tourism for Malaysia.

All these activities were part of space tourism development in Malaysia up to May 2007. There are already activities planned up to the end of 2007, which will strengthen the support for space tourism from the general public and government of Malaysia. These activities are planned to promote space tourism as the continuation of the government astronaut program to attract support from the government and enhance the symbiotic relationship between the astronaut program and space tourism development. They will benefit from the government astronaut program and create the opportunity for the government to use them as the continuation of the astronaut program.

From July 1999 to December 2006, there have been 17 significant space tourism development activities recorded in Malaysia, ranging from public lectures at universities, paper presentations, and meetings with government agencies [8]. The organisation that has been developing space tourism in Malaysia the most since 2002 is Space Future Consulting. However, since 2006 the effort has been supported by Space Tourism Society Malaysia Chapter.

The Malaysian Institute of Aero and Space Studies, which has pioneered space tourism in Malaysia since 2000, has expanded its operation to include activities other than the promotion of space tourism. All the three organisations now have started to promote space tourism in other countries of the region, particularly in Indonesia.

Space tourism development activities in Malaysia planned for 2008 will be focussing on participation in international events such as conferences and seminars outside Malaysia to promote space tourism in the country at international level.

2.3. The Symbiotic Relationship

Since it began in 1999, space tourism development activities in Malaysia have not faced difficulties or obstacles from the government. Space tourism public lectures were hosted by public universities, space tourism articles and news were published by government-controlled newspapers and magazines, and top government officials were willing to discuss space tourism with space tourism activists.

Space tourism activities in Malaysia have started earlier than the astronaut program. Since the government announced in 2003 that it is going to send an astronaut to the ISS by the end of 2007, space tourism activists have proposed that space tourism development should act as the continuation of the astronaut program, to ensure the space tourism activities do not contradict the astronaut program. This is the main reason why there is a symbiotic relationship between space tourism development and astronaut program in Malaysia.

Since the announcement of the astronaut program, space tourism activists have been proposing that the space tourism development activities should be the continuation of the astronaut program if the program becomes successful and replacement of the astronaut program if the program is cancelled or postponed. By doing so, space tourism activists have positioned space tourism closer to the government. This has enabled space tourism to become more popular with the government, because of its campaign, which is supportive of the astronaut program.

Space tourism has also become more popular among the general public after the announcement of the astronaut program and its development activities have started benefiting from the astronaut program since the announcement of the program. However, the astronaut program will start benefiting from space tourism development activities after the astronaut returns from the ISS.

The astronaut will tell the general public about his trip and stay onboard the ISS. His promotion of space travel will make the public want to go to space like him. However, due to the economic reality of the astronaut program, the public will realise that their chance to be selected as astronaut will be extremely slim, if not impossible.

The astronaut will be able to describe an alternative program by which the general public will have the opportunity to go to space, which is the space tourism program. In doing so, he will discuss space tourism development, which has been going on in Malaysia earlier than the astronaut program itself.

At this point, the astronaut program and space tourism development will have already contributed to each other. Due to this symbiotic relationship, governments of the third world, which have sent their astronauts to the ISS through the space tourism program offered by Roscosmos, like Malaysia in the very near future, will become supporters of space tourism.

Space tourism will also become attractive to thirdworld governments and the general public because it involves technology transfer and the creation of new economy, which are politically popular in the third world.

Through a spaceplane technology transfer program, engineers from the third world can participate in the design, testing and development of the spaceplane. These activities will be very popular because such opportunity is very seldom available to the engineers of the third world [6].

A third world country like Malaysia is also facing the problem of loosing labour intensive activities to China and India where the labour costs are lower. Therefore a new economy which is not labour intensive, such as space tourism will be able to create more investment opportunities to a third world country like Malaysia. [6].

These two value added elements of space tourism will make space tourism becomes popular in the third world. They will also compensate the astronaut program, which will not be able to offer them.

2.4. An Example of a Space Tourism Development Activity Originated from the Astronaut Program: Labu Sayong - Meal Container for Space Tourist

An example of a space tourism development activity originated from the astronaut program is an activity to develop a spherical meal container for space tourist by the Perak state government and Space Tourism Society Malaysia Chapter launched in November 2006 [9, 10]. The spherical meal container will be the major component of a proposed meal delivery system to deliver meals efficiently and safely to space tourists in their rooms onboard space hotels [9, 10].

The meal container is called labu sayong, a Malay word meaning, traditional personal water container originated from Perak, a state on the northern west coast of peninsular Malaysia. More than 100 years ago labu sayong was used to carry water by individuals, who travel long distance in Perak and Malay Peninsula.

Figure 4.1. Illustration of a traditional labu sayong.

The water carrier was spherical, but has a tube with lid at the top for pouring out water and a flat bottom. It was made from baked clay and its spherical body has a diameter between 15cm and 25cm.

Today, traditional labu sayong remains as a popular hand-crafted household accessory in Malaysia, but still useful as water container.

Since the beginning of the Malaysian astronaut program, the meals to be carried onboard the ISS by the astronaut has become the most popular issue. There were parliamentary and ministerial discussions about the issue and several traditional meals have been proposed to be carried onboard the space station by the Malaysian astronaut.

Malaysian space tourism activists realise that the issue of traditional meals can also be popular for space tourism development as in the astronaut program. Due to this, they have proposed a project to develop a suitable meal container to be used by space tourists onboard space hotels, originated from a traditional meal container.

Orbital hotels will be equipped with rooms just like terrestrial hotels, because space tourists who pay for their accommodation will need exclusivity and privacy. However, unlike the rooms of terrestrial hotels, the rooms onboard space hotels will not have human workers providing meal delivery service. The lack of gravity will reduce the efficiency of service by human workers and limit the number human workers allowed onboard the space hotels [9, 10].

A suitable method to deliver meals to rooms onboard the space hotels will be using vacuum technology, because such delivery system will not be affected by the lack of gravity, and can be concealed inside the wall, floor or ceiling and eliminate the need of human workers to deliver the meals. Meal containers with food or water will travel through the vacuum tubes from the meal preparation module to the rooms. The vacuum tubes will not be straight because they will be concealed inside the wall, floor and ceiling and have to negotiate bends and curves. Therefore, the meal container will have to be spherical to guarantee it can able to travel smoothly through the vacuum tubes [9, 10].

Being spherical is also considered to be suitable in terms of design for the meal container because all major celestial objects such as planets and moons are spherical, and it also symbolizes the lack of gravity and orientation in space [9, 10].

The container will be made of high quality plastic with diameter of 15.0cm. It will have useful storage of 13.0cm diameter surrounded with 1.0cm thick insulator.

Figure 4.2. The dimensions of the spherical food container.

It can be separated into 2 equal sections via an unlocking mechanism, one of which will act as a bowl for the food. To drink water from the container, a small screw with diameter of 0.5cm can be opened so that a straw can be inserted into the container through the opening. Drinking water using the straw is the most practical and safest within the zero-gravity environment to avoid the water floating around and damaging electronic and other water-sensitive devices onboard the space hotel.

Figure 4.3. The spherical meal container can be opened to reveal the food to be eaten, and a straw can be inserted through a small opening, so that water inside it can be drunk.

A meal container or several meal containers will arrive at a meal cabinet inside the room automatically as ordered by the guest. The guest needs only to open the meal cabinet, which will be fixed on the wall, to reach the container.

Being spherical with a proper diameter, the container can easily be carried with one hand and placed on the lap when seated to enjoy the meal. It can also float around in zero-gravity while the food is being eaten or water is being drunk through the straw.

The meal containers are re-useable. They can be returned to the meal preparation module from the rooms through the same vacuum tube, because the force of the vacuum energy inside the tube is reversible. Therefore the food delivery system will have two-way transfer capability [9, 10].

In designing the meal delivery system, factors such as immediate but soft arrival of the meal containers, sharing of tubes by the meal containers delivered to different rooms, vacuum sound damping and minimum power consumption are given attention. The attractive presentation of the meal containers such as colour and graphical coding is also considered significant [9, 10].

However, since space hotels will only exist in a decade, the spherical meal container will also have to be designed with the objective of being commercial for contemporary terrestrial applications as food and water container. Only when the time arrives, it will be used onboard the space hotels.

The spherical meal container can be used daily with or without accessories. It can be carried around like a conventional food container in a net and a net can also be used to carry several of them. It can also be extended by using an extension tube between the 2 parts of a separated container. The tube has an opening, which is half of the tube's outer surface. The tube may or may not have walls at both ends. If the tube does not have walls at its ends, the container will have more than twice the volume of the original container for food. If the tube has walls, the tube can function as the food container, and the 2 separated parts can function as containers for 2 different types of drink.

Figure 4.4. A spherical meal container with extension tube, 2 straws and 4 rubber balls on a flat surface.

A spherical meal container with or without the extension tube can be served securely on a flat surface like a table when 4 small rubber balls are screwed at its bottom.

Perhaps in the future, the traditional labu sayong will evolve into the spherical labu sayong for space tourist made from advanced material. If the evolution becomes reality, the traditional labu sayong will be very popular and continue to exist as the spherical labu sayong for space tourist. This project is an appreciation to the Perak state government's contribution to the development of space tourism in Malaysia, since labu sayong is the most popular traditional product of Perak.

The spherical meal container for space tourist program has contributed to space tourism development in the country, because it promotes space tourism development and strengthens the support for space tourism development activities from the Perak state government. It is the first product originated from Malaysian astronaut program designed to be commercial. Later it will contribute to the astronaut program when it becomes marketable for terrestrial everyday uses and known to the general public as a spin-off product from the astronaut program [9, 10].

3. FACTORS FOR THE CO-EXISTENCE OF ASTRONAUT PROGRAM AND SPACE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE THIRD WORLD
3.1. Pressure from the Public for the Continuation of the Astronaut Program

As demonstrated by the case study of the Malaysian astronaut program, there are several reasons for the coexistence of a government astronaut program and space tourism development in the third world. One of them is due to the pressure from the general public, who understand that their government will not be able to send more than one astronaut to orbit due to the very high cost of the astronaut program. The public worry that the astronaut program will not be able to provide enough benefits, considering the high cost of the program.

Fortunately, a third-world government can continue the astronaut program without sending more astronauts to orbit if there are space tourism development activities in the country. And by supporting space tourism, it indicates to the general public that the activities are the continuation of the astronaut program. If there are no such activities, the government can create some with very limited budget and effort.

There are also factors that strengthen the relationship between the astronaut program and space tourism development activities in the third world. Besides lacking any established space launch program, a thirdworld government that wishes to send an astronaut to orbit will probably become a customer of the space tourism package offered by Roscosmos, like the Malaysian government.

Therefore the similarity between the third world astronaut and space tourism programs offered by Roscosmos also becomes factors that enable the coexistence of an astronaut program and space tourism development in the third world.

3.2. Similarity between Astronaut and Space Tourism Programs offered by Roscosmos

Roscosmos offers any individual or government an opportunity to visit the ISS for USD25 million. The government that becomes the customer can decide whether to call the man and/or women sent to the space station an "astronaut" or a "space tourist". The Malaysian government decided to call its candidate an "astronaut" and assigned him activities to perform, which makes him an astronaut rather than a space tourist. However in doing so, the Malaysian government is promoting space tourism.

Before the launch, the astronaut or space tourist will be trained for six to ten months. The astronaut or space tourist is transported onboard the ISS by Soyuz launch vehicle. He or she will stay onboard the space station for a week to ten days. Onboard the space station, the astronaut is allowed to perform the activities that satisfy the requirement of his or her government. But if the passenger is a space tourist, he or she may have no such requirement. So far, five space tourists have visited the space station this way.

Third world customers will be able to associate their astronaut program with space tourism development because their astronaut program is a form of space tourism. They can even consider their astronaut program as the most significant catalyst to space tourism development in their country.

3.3. Lack of Established Space Launch Program

There are governments of the third world that already have space launch system, such as China, India, and Brazil. These launch systems comprise of expendable launch vehicles ( ELV), which are not the type of reuseable passenger launch vehicle ( RLV) promoted for space tourism.

When a government supports space tourism, it automatically supports the development of RLV. For a government of the first and second worlds that have spent money and time in developing ELV for satellite launching, openly supporting space tourism may be unlikely. The design and operation philosophy of RLV for space tourism and that of ELV for satellite launching is very different and most probably will resemble the design and operation of passenger aeroplanes. This concept is known as passenger spaceplane [11].

The governments of the third world, which do not have any commitment in maintaining ELV can openly support space tourism development and enjoy an opportunity to participate in the development of passenger spaceplane.

Development of passenger spaceplane can be very attractive to these third world governments because of the low cost of development compared to ELV, and the opportunity for the country to utilize the issue politically and economically.

These third world governments that do not involve in any established space launch program do not have to allocate their budget and time to maintain the program. They can provide support with limited budgets to promote high-profile activities of space tourism and contribute to its development, which grows more popular with the public each year.

4. CONCLUSIONS

From the above, we have drawn the following conclusions:

  1. Space tourism development in Malaysia has been benefiting from the country's astronaut program since its inception in 2003.
  2. Space tourism in Malaysia will become more popular after the return of the country's astronaut from the ISS by the end of 2007.
  3. There will be a symbiotic relationship between the astronaut program and space tourism development in a third-world country that sends an astronaut to the ISS through Roscosmos. As a result, the country will become a strong supporter of space tourism.
  4. The factors that promote the symbiotic relationship between an astronaut program and space tourism development in the third world are:
    1. The pressure from the general public, who wish to see the continuation of the astronaut program.
    2. Similarity between the astronaut and space tourism program offered by Roscosmos to the third world.
    3. Lack of established space launch programs in the third world.
5. RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the conclusions, we recommend the following:

  1. Space tourism development activities in Malaysia should include the involvement of the astronaut or associated with the astronaut program after the return of the Malaysian astronaut from the ISS.
  2. The Malaysian government should take advantage of existing space tourism development activities by associating them with its astronaut program.
  3. The Malaysian astronaut should tell the general public that if they want to go to space, they can do so if there is a space tourism industry, which will provide the general public with a lower-cost access to space.
  4. Third-world countries, which plan to send their astronauts to the ISS through Roscosmos, should plan to conduct space tourism development activities if they do not exist yet.
  5. Space agencies of the third world should support space tourism development in their countries.
6. FUTURE PLANS

The authors plan to do the following:

  1. To encourage the Malaysian astronaut to become a space tourism activist.
  2. To encourage the Malaysian space agency to promote space tourism.
  3. To create more commercial product programs, which are spin-off ideas from the Malaysian astronaut program and will contribute to space tourism development in the country.
  4. To participate in international conferences and seminars outside Malaysia to promote space tourism development in the country internationally.
  5. To promote space tourism in other countries of the third world.
7. REFERENCES
  1. Bill Yenne, 1986, " The Astronauts - The First 25 Years of Manned Space Flight", Magna Books, Leicester, United Kingdom.
  2. Norul Ridzuan Zakaria, February 2003, " Pengenalan Ekonomi Angkasa (Introductory Space Economics)", Malaysian Institute of Aero and Space Studies, Perak, Malaysia.
  3. Norul Ridzuan Zakaria, Norul Zafinas Zakaria, June 2007, " Consideration of Centre Line Different Thrust Configuration for Sub-Orbital Spaceplane Design", accepted for oral presentation at National Conference on Aerospace Technology of the XXI Century (Aerotech II) organised by University Putra Malaysia and University Science Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.
  4. Prof. Patrick Collins, Dato' Ramly Zahari, 4 December 2005, " New Opportunity for Malaysia in Space Tourism", 2nd International Tourism Outlook Conference, University Technology MARA.
  5. Letter by Dato' Ramly Zahari, Senior Executive Councillor Member of Perak State Government to Space Future Consulting dated 9th November 2004.
  6. Jamaludin Othman, Norul Ridzuan Zakaria, Abd Azis Abd Majid & Ramly Zahari, August 2006, " Space Tourism - New Economy and Technology for Developing Countries", Faculty of Civil Engineering, University Technology MARA Shah Alam, Malaysia.
  7. Foreword written by Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation for "Space Tourism - New Economy and Technology for Malaysia".
  8. December 2006, "Space Tourism Development Activities in Malaysia 1999-2006", leaflet published by Space Tourism Society Malaysia Chapter.
  9. November 2006, "Labu Sayong - Spherical Food Container for Space Tourist", leaflet published by Space Tourism Society Malaysia Chapter and Perak State Committee for Industry and Entrepreneur Development.
  10. Norul Ridzuan Zakaria, Mohd Jamil Mohd Nor, June 2007, " Design of Commercial Spherical Meal Container for Effective Food and Water Delivery to Rooms onboard Space Hotel", accepted for oral presentation at National Conference on Aerospace Technology of XXI Century (Aerotech II) organised by University Putra Malaysia and University Science Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.
  11. David Ashford, 2002, "Spaceflight Revolution", Imperial College Press, London, United Kingdom.
R Zahari, N R Zakaria, A A A Majid & J Othman, 14 May 2007, "The Symbiotic Relationship between Astronaut Program and Space Tourism Development - A Third World Perspective", Presented at 2nd IAASS Conference, Chicago, 15 May 2007.
Also downloadable from http://www.spacefuture.com/archive/the symbiotic relationship between astronaut program and space tourism development a third world perspective.shtml

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