Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Memorandum 108

Supplementary submission from Space Future Consulting Ltd

  Since SFC's Submission to the Select Committee dated October 2006 there has been a steady stream of events marking progress towards the realisation of sub-orbital passenger space travel services. These illustrate how widely it is now recognised that this is an economically promising direction for space development, and consequently policies which ignore this potential are mistaken. Some of these events are listed briefly below, followed by Annexes on two of them.


  US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Blakey states that it is FAA policy to encourage and enable growth of the space tourism industry.

  US General Accounting Office publishes report urging FAA to speed up its safety oversight activities for the emerging space tourism industry, due to its rapid growth.

  UKSpace publishes "Case4Space Summary Report" (C4S) extolling the benefits arising from HMG's investment of several billion pounds in communication and surveillance satellite systems. However, the report does not even mention the commercial potential of passenger space travel (which has been publicly recognised as being much greater by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the US Space Transportation Association, the FAA, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, the US Department of Commerce, [DA1], the Keidanren, the governments of Singapore, U.A.E. and Sweden, and the state governments of California, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Virginia, Ohio, among other professional organizations), and it greatly overstates the economic value of the satellite industry, as described in Annex 1 below.


  First flight of "Blue Origin", prototype of Vertical Take-Off and Landing sub-orbital passenger vehicle in Texas.

  British Interplanetary Society Symposium on Space Tourism.


  FAA publishes "Human Space Flight Requirements for Crew and Space Flight Participants" formalising new regulations for passenger space travel services.

  FAA publishes map of 12 Spaceports currently being developed or planned for sub-orbital tourism in USA.

  "Orbital Outfitters Inc" established to design and sell clothing for space tourists.


  Announcement of European Space Agency study contracts on "Feasibility of European Privately-funded Vehicles for Commercial Human Space Flight", including some 150,000 Euros for Starchaser Ltd. (See Annex 2.)[DA2]

  Official opening of sub-orbital tourism Spaceport at Kiruna Airport, Sweden—the first in Europe. It is intended to operate a US-built spaceplane there.

  New Mexico Governor supports the introduction of a "Spaceport Tax", to comprise a state-wide 0.25% sales tax to contribute to a $200 million fund. Advisors to the state government concluded that space tourism will be "...big, very big, or huge".


  FAA holds 10th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference.

  Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act passed by Virginia state goverment to aid growth of sub-orbital passenger space flight services from the FAA-licensed Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

February 2007

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