How Safe is Space Tourism?

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qso1

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For those well healed enough to ride Soyuz to the ISS. It seems pretty safe. For the up and comers, its not yet known how safe until Rutan and company get some test flights under their belts. Can SS-2 for example, make 100 flights without incident?<br /><br />The fact that they are working well together so far is a testament to the professionalism of the space tourism pioneers as well as government regulators (Mrs Smith being one). This as much as anything technical is going to ensure space tourism success as long as the market for space tourism exists. And I for one, think that market will exist and expand for a long time provided it can be done in a reasonably safe and economic manner. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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bdewoody

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So far the record for a pure tourist makes it 100% safe. That is if you don't count Christa Mc Auliffe.<br /><br />Sooner or later when space tourism is an everyday thing there are bound to be accidents.<br /><br />I's rather be a space tourist than an Alaskan Crab fisherman. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em><font size="2">Bob DeWoody</font></em> </div>
 
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webtaz99

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How safe is riding in a car? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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Climbing Mt Everest is a kind of tourism. It costs $30,000 or more per person, depending on the route climbed. On average one person dies for every 12 who makes it to the summit.<br /><br />More and more people still climb each year. The risk is part of the appeal.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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qso1

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I commented on how there is a market for space tourism. Even I didn't realize how big an emerging market it apparently is becoming till I saw the USA story the other day which IIRC, stated that deposits totalling $21 million had been taken.<br /><br />The deposits were $20 thousand a peice except for the first 100 to sign up. This means over 1,000 people have plunked down deposits so far...before the hardware has even been tested, much less established as a safe means of tourism. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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spacester

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Those are the kind of numbers I've been touting for years.<br /><br />Note that the Japanese market alone in friggin HUGE.<br /><br />***<br /><br />Also once again, as a general comment, I want to go on record saying that the idea that Space Tourism will be shut down upon the first fatal accident is just totally silly. There is no legal or social mechanism to cause that to happen. It's not a gummint operation. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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Good numbers to be sure. On accidents, we won't really know until that day comes. If there were to be a fatal accident early on, even private enterprise might back away, especially if the government were to step in and force it which is possible. But if an accident comes later. They can cite the experience gained and move on.<br /><br />Best bet is to hope the vehicles being used for tourism will be thoughroughly tested and I know Rutan has already planned for extensive testing. He tested SS-1 pretty well. His other non space aircraft designs have admirable safety records. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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"Also once again, as a general comment, I want to go on record saying that the idea that Space Tourism will be shut down upon the first fatal accident is just totally silly. There is no legal or social mechanism to cause that to happen. It's not a gummint operation."<br /><br />Maybe not "shut down" but suspended for awhile. It has nothing to do with being a gov't operation. The FAA may enforce stricter regulations (make them like experimental aircraft, which aren't allowed passengers, or something similar), similar to what sort of the ended the barnstorming era of airplanes.
 
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bpfeifer

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I have to agree with jimfromnsf on this one. And the FAA does not need to suspend all commercial launches to have a dramatic impact on the industry. <br /><br />Let's say a fictional company, Bonzai Rockets, has a fatal accident with their Crazy Eights launch vehicle. The FAA may well ground all Crazy Eights and other launchers that share common subsystems that may be a fault for the accident. Since there are only a few companies currently launching tourists, 10% of the business is put on hold by the grounding, and another 10% of passengers cancel their flights out of fear. Pretty soon we're looking at a 20% drop in the industry. That can be hard for a fledgeling business to survive.<br /><br />Will it kill the industry? No. But it could cause the bankruptcy of one or more marginal players in the business. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Brian J. Pfeifer http://sabletower.wordpress.com<br /> The Dogsoldier Codex http://www.lulu.com/sabletower<br /> </div>
 
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kdavis007

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Nothing is really safe. In fact there is a lot of accidents and deaths no matter what you do.....
 
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docm

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Yup. More injuries on a bicycle than any other vehicle. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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bdewoody

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I was reading about the Clipper Ships the other day and I was reintroduced to the number of those ships that sailed from port and were never heard from again. They didn't quit building them and I hope in the future when space accidents occur that we don't abandon manned space flight. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em><font size="2">Bob DeWoody</font></em> </div>
 
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