Thursday, March 27, 2008

Space Access 2008 - Joe Carroll, on Challenges of Commercial Manned Orbital Space

Joe Carroll, who wrote a guidebook on tethers, reviewed some of the challenges of commercial manned space travel. Joe reminded us that manned space travel is like the taxi business. People are going to pay for the ride, and then for a hotel in space. Much of the hotel costs will feed back into the taxi business. The hotel will need to hire the taxi to bring up supplies and to bring up the hotel staff.

Joe asks what are the limits to space tourism? The big factor is time. It takes time to earn the money. It takes the time to train, for example six months in Russia. If the requirements for training and money drop then more people will be willing to accept a little risk.

For the taxi business to be successful companies need to reduce the risk.

Probably people will want to spend a week in space. Most people take a couple days to get use to weightlessness. A successful space hotel will have frequent flights. One group of people are getting use to free fall while the earlier group is able to be more active.

The full agenda

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