28 April 2001
News - Tourism (Good)
The Future Is Now
First Space Tourist Checks In
by Carol Pinchefsky
Today, 28 April 2001, the future finally became the present. Despite last-minute glitches (seen as more political than technical by some), the age of space tourism has officially begun. Denis Tito, the first paying space tourist, is now rocketing on his way toward the International Space Station (ISS). Space Future wishes him well and looks forward to private citizens in space as a beginning of a new era. For more information, see this BBC news article.

The queue to go next is already forming. According to rumour, next up is award-winning director James Cameron, who has already expressed interest in filming aboard the ISS.

Of course, a $20 million ticket is not the ideal business model for space tourism, but with this massive increase in credibility, it is only a matter of time before the development of reusable launch vehicles to carry passengers at a more affordable price - see "Space Tourism Growth Phases" in "Potential Economic Implications of the Development of Space Tourism".
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Carol Pinchefsky 28 April 2001
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