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Published:20-22 March 1997
Origin:Presented at the International Symposium on Space Tourism, Bremen, 20-22 March 1997
Abstract:Abstract - This paper describes a qualitative business plan for starting a space tourism business. The first step is the development of the Ascender small sub-orbital spaceplane - a sort of "re-invented X-15" - designed for quick turnaround, and capable of carrying two pilots and either experiments or two passengers. Ascender uses no new technology and could be flying in three years. There is a large enough market for such an aeroplane, without depending on carrying passengeres, for a good return on investment. After a few years in service as a general purpose research aeroplane it would be certified for carrying passengers on brief space experience flights. The resulting sub-orbital passenger flights should provide the credibility needed for the development of full scale orbital tourism.
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