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Origin:Proceedings of 49th IAF Congress

This paper presents the results of new study by the author that analyzed the potential market for Public Space Travel (PST), defined a set of optimum launch vehicles for this service, and set up a series of paper businesses to take as few as 100 and as many as 1,000,000 people into space annually. To enable the analyses, the study analyzed market surveys done to date and de-rived a "most likely" market elasticity model.

Three fully reusable transportation vehicles were designed for this application, sized for 20, 60, and 180 passengers capacity per launch. A launch rate increasing from 100 to 6,000 launches per year was adopted in order to accommodate the eventual demands for the number of passengers. These vehicles do not require technologies beyond those that will be proven within 2 years on the X-33, but must be designed for high reusability and reliability.

A number of paper businesses were defined for PST. They showed that low enough seat prices could be offered to actually enable the large passenger rate required by the market elasticity data. An IRR of 35-55% is achievable by such businesses when carrying 1,000-10,000 persons per year. When the vehicles carried cargo as well as advertising, ticket prices were offset sufficiently that IRR levels of at least 45% were attainable even at 1,000,000 passengers per year. What is more, these figures were achievable even when charging less than 30 $/Kg for carrying cargo into space. Thus PST could be highly synergistic with an SPS business.

Thus a business can be created that generates over $30 Billion profit annually for an investment of $ 7.6 B. In addition a smaller scale business using a Kistler-type vehicle was de-signed in order to begin services incrementally, at passenger rates of 100-2,000 per year. It is shown that such smaller scale business can also be economically viable, with IRR of 25-35% readily attainable with investment under $ 2 B.

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