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|Origin:||Acta Astronautica, Vol 48, No. 5-12, pp 921-950|
Government space agencies have the statutory responsibility to support the commercialisation of space activities. NASA's 1998 report "General Public Space Travel and Tourism" concluded that passenger space travel can start using already existing technology, and is likely to grow into the largest commercial activity in space: it is therefore greatly in taxpayers' economic interest that passenger space travel and accommodation industries should be developed. However, space agencies are doing nothing to help realise this - indeed, they are actively delaying it. This behaviour is predicted by 'public choice' economics, pioneered by Professors George Stigler and James Buchanan who received the 1982 and 1986 Nobel prizes for Economics, which views government organisations as primarily self-interested. The paper uses this viewpoint to discuss public and private roles in the coming development of a space tourism industry.
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|Keywords:||Tourism:Economics , Tourism:Policy|