28 January 1999
- Tourism (Good)
Arthur C. Clarke Promotes Space Tourism
Famous Author Talks about Tourism, X Prize in Space News
by Sam Coniglio
World famous science fiction author and visionary Arthur C. Clarke wrote in the February 1, 1999 issue of Space News that it's time to think seriously about building hotels in orbit.

"Where else could you get to see a sunrise and a sunset every 90 minutes?" he asked. Clarke talked about how he envisioned space tourism to the moon in his novel "2001: A Space Odyssey" via a space station "slightly larger" than the one NASA is building. Back in the 1960's, Pan American Airlines actually accepted reservations for over 90,000 people for future commercial flights to the moon.

He mentions the market surveys conducted in several countries where more than half of the people responding said they would love a chance to travel into space. (Editor's note: several people involved with Space Future conducted some of those surveys).

Clarke discussed how hard it is for a person to go into space today, compared to the barnstorming early years of aviation. This discussion segued into his participation as a founding member of the X Prize Foundation, the international contest to promote space tourism.

Arthur Clarke's article reminds us all how great a visionary he is. With him in our growing army of space tourism believers, it adds more clout to the general public that we are genuine. He thought we would be building space hotels 30 years ago. We have to work together to make space hotels a reality before another 30 years pass.

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Sam Coniglio 28 January 1999
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