The Potential Importance of Passenger Space Travel Services
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The world-wide publicity received by the first private flight to space by the piloted spaceplane "SpaceShipOne" in June 2003 drew attention to the project's very low cost not much more than 1/1,000 of Nasa's annual budget. The flights were also the first concrete proof that it may be possible also to reach Earth orbit at far lower cost than that of government space agencies. If this is achieved, it could create a major new global passenger travel industry comparable to civil aviation, as well as making the resources of space easily accessible for human use.
JSTS 19(1), 17-26, 2003-03
Japanese Rocket Society