Space Tourism

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ZacFarr

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raptorborealis":rduozig9 said:
Spacehawk":rduozig9 said:
Just wanted to add my 2 cents to the whole point to point transportation. It sounds exciting, and yes FEDEX can do great things with it, but let's not forget that the Concord, which offered supersonic flights, is no longer in business. One could travel from NY to London in two hours, yet it went bankrupt. I don't think there is market out there for a point to point orbitol flights, especially when they will cost more than the Concord. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of human space flight, been reading on this site for a few years, but I don't think Point to Point is going to have a market.
Very true.... and there were many more development costs than just not being unsound financially. Those costs were eaten by governments.

And no city is going to build hundreds of millions in facilities (today airporsts cost billions) to help Fedex move packages in 2 hours instead of 8...and taxpayers would never approve such facilities for 'executives' (who rarely took the Concord anyways). I suppose a company could spend hundreds of millions (or billions) in remote areas but that defeats the purpose of fast trasvel. (and what authority would 'approve' any of this if humans were routine passengers!)

The reality is that the price of a Shurtte flight, Concord flight, military jet, etc . does NOT go down over time. I heard John Glenn commenting and he said that every flight that a military jet takes is experimental whether it's the 10th flight or 1000th. He was commenting on Shuttle costs and wanting people to be realistic about what is considered 'routine''. 'Economy of scale' takes a long time to kick in and perhaps never with leading edger technology when safety is paramount.

The numbers such as $200,000 a flight...then down to $75,000 are meaningless and grabbed out of the air. The statements such as 'rich people will pay...' are likewise based on nothing. Nobody really has a clue how much any of this would cost and if there is any market. One accident (such as the Shuttle) and all numbers are tossed in the air and nobody has a clue what would happen.

You are making a very valid point. I guess we will just have to wait and see... I think we will see point to point LEO travel(or whatever you want to call it) in my lifetime though that is quite a long time frame. I'm fifteen so I might be waiting a while...
 
D

DarkenedOne

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raptorborealis":387ol361 said:
Very true.... and there were many more development costs than just not being unsound financially. Those costs were eaten by governments.

And no city is going to build hundreds of millions in facilities (today airporsts cost billions) to help Fedex move packages in 2 hours instead of 8...and taxpayers would never approve such facilities for 'executives' (who rarely took the Concord anyways). I suppose a company could spend hundreds of millions (or billions) in remote areas but that defeats the purpose of fast trasvel. (and what authority would 'approve' any of this if humans were routine passengers!)

The reality is that the price of a Shurtte flight, Concord flight, military jet, etc . does NOT go down over time. I heard John Glenn commenting and he said that every flight that a military jet takes is experimental whether it's the 10th flight or 1000th. He was commenting on Shuttle costs and wanting people to be realistic about what is considered 'routine''. 'Economy of scale' takes a long time to kick in and perhaps never with leading edger technology when safety is paramount.

The numbers such as $200,000 a flight...then down to $75,000 are meaningless and grabbed out of the air. The statements such as 'rich people will pay...' are likewise based on nothing. Nobody really has a clue how much any of this would cost and if there is any market. One accident (such as the Shuttle) and all numbers are tossed in the air and nobody has a clue what would happen.
"The reality is that the price of a Shurtte flight, Concord flight, military jet, etc . does NOT go down over time."

The reason for this lies in the markets for the vehicles. Manufacturers do not decrease prices for the fun of it. They decrease prices in order to increase the number of customers. In each of the vehicles you talked about the manufacturers have a monopoly. In the case of the Shuttle or military jets there is only one customer, the government. In the case of the Concorde it had a monopoly on supersonic travel because people realized that the supersonic market was a dead end, thus no producers were building any more of them.

Point is in each of these cases you mentioned the producers had no reason to reduce cost. The mechanisms that reduce costs in a market including competition do not exist.

In the space tourism market hopefully we will get some decent competition. There are a number of companies doing suborbital. On the orbital side we have the Soyuz, the CS-100, and the Dragon.
 
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raptorborealis

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DarkenedOne":3mjtr3cq said:
raptorborealis":3mjtr3cq said:
Very true.... and there were many more development costs than just not being unsound financially. Those costs were eaten by governments.

And no city is going to build hundreds of millions in facilities (today airporsts cost billions) to help Fedex move packages in 2 hours instead of 8...and taxpayers would never approve such facilities for 'executives' (who rarely took the Concord anyways). I suppose a company could spend hundreds of millions (or billions) in remote areas but that defeats the purpose of fast trasvel. (and what authority would 'approve' any of this if humans were routine passengers!)

The reality is that the price of a Shurtte flight, Concord flight, military jet, etc . does NOT go down over time. I heard John Glenn commenting and he said that every flight that a military jet takes is experimental whether it's the 10th flight or 1000th. He was commenting on Shuttle costs and wanting people to be realistic about what is considered 'routine''. 'Economy of scale' takes a long time to kick in and perhaps never with leading edger technology when safety is paramount.

The numbers such as $200,000 a flight...then down to $75,000 are meaningless and grabbed out of the air. The statements such as 'rich people will pay...' are likewise based on nothing. Nobody really has a clue how much any of this would cost and if there is any market. One accident (such as the Shuttle) and all numbers are tossed in the air and nobody has a clue what would happen.
"The reality is that the price of a Shurtte flight, Concord flight, military jet, etc . does NOT go down over time."

The reason for this lies in the markets for the vehicles. Manufacturers do not decrease prices for the fun of it. They decrease prices in order to increase the number of customers. In each of the vehicles you talked about the manufacturers have a monopoly. In the case of the Shuttle or military jets there is only one customer, the government. In the case of the Concorde it had a monopoly on supersonic travel because people realized that the supersonic market was a dead end, thus no producers were building any more of them.
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Baloney.

There is fierce competion in the military jet industry. Millions are spent by companies pushing their product. My country just announced the purchase of 12 billion dollars worth of military jets after intense international competition.

The Concorde had no competioon because it was white elephant... a money loser.. otherwise equally faster aircraft would have been economical by other companies. Airlines go bust not because they can't fill airplanes but because they can't get people to fill the more expensive seats... folks want to go from A to B cheaply...not in luxury for another $300. The market for an airplane to fly from New YorK to LA full of $1000 seats does not exist...no amount of free champagne or lobster entices even most millioniares to fly first case.

Space tourism is dandy in theory. The reality it will be a dud after an initial bout of hooplah. 'Perhaps' some form of it may sprout up one day but it won't be for another century.
 
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Gravity_Ray

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raptorborealis":3qcfaxxe said:
Baloney.

...

Space tourism is dandy in theory. The reality it will be a dud after an initial bout of hooplah. 'Perhaps' some form of it may sprout up one day but it won't be for another century.
Well you’re talking about several different things.

1. Sub orbital jaunts for rich people. This goes in the category of climbers of Mount Everest. There are many rich people that spend more money on their yearly vacation than you and I make in one year put together. These people won’t bat an eye lash on spending from $75,000 (typical amount for climbing Mount Everest), or going on a hunting expedition or going around the world cruise. This kind of tourism does have a place but I doubt it would be more than about 150 people per year (this is the number of people that attempt to climb mount Everest each and every year – that is its an average number).

2. Point to point transportation. Believe it or not I know somebody that sells power supplies to the government and he travels to Taiwan twice a year to go to his factory etc… from his home in San Diego, CA. His ticket (he flies first class because it’s about a 23 hour trip) and that ticket is around $8000 to $10000 each time. Amazingly he would spend 2-3 times that if he didn’t have to waste 23 hours times 2 because his 23 hours is worth more than $10000. So again there IS a market for point to point transportation for Virgin Galactic. Remember that VG doesn’t need special facilities. The space ship can land any place with a run way and if VG places a mother ship at strategic air ports they can launch from any place too. Furthermore something like a space ship 2 can hold a lot of packages for a company like FEDEX. There is many companies that will sue that service to get important packages around quickly. Yes the price will be high but again, don’t think with our yearly salary, think with the yearly Gross revenue of a company like FEDEX.

3. Orbital tourism. I actually don’t think there is much of a market for orbital tourism (so I agree with you here). However, I think there is a market for orbital transportation. If SpaceX can get people and small loads to orbit and Bigelow can put together a few modules up there, there WILL be some interest in that. This will come from science (such as an orbital laboratory) or military (orbital platform), to private industry. Private industry will not know what to do up there, UNTIL there is an established way up there (that is a rocket to get up there and a platform to be in once you get there). I really think that SpaceX and Bigelow will be game changers. I guess I cannot prove it to you why I feel that way; it just comes from 40 years of following human space flight.
 
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kk434

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There was a steady rate of orbital tourists on soyuz until they closed the program. I hope they will some day reopen it. There is a plan to build an extra soyuz each year just for tourists.
 
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ZacFarr

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I would like to point out that climbing Mt. Everest is nothing like traveling into LEO, especially in a spaceship like the Virgin Galactic Spaceship 2. Virgin designed it specifically so that someone who is not in very good physical condition can get to the spaceport two days before their flight and still be perfectly fine when they go up. Climbing Mt. Everest on the other hand requires a lot more prep and that you are in a much better physical condition. Also it is much more of a time commitment than space tourism is in its current form. So comparing space tourism to climbing Mt. Everest is not a comparison that has any validity.
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

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As stated earlier the price goes down with the competition. Hundreds of tickets have already been sold by companies like Virgin Galactic, it is just a matter of time before they can get their customers into sub-orbital and orbital space. Space tourism was previously the business of the Russians but now it looks like private companies will be handling this. The cooperation between NASA and these private companies will be necessary for the time being so NASA can have their space taxi to the ISS instead of paying off the Russians.
 
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Gravity_Ray

Guest
ZacFarr":1k68ufa4 said:
I would like to point out that climbing Mt. Everest is nothing like traveling into LEO, especially in a spaceship like the Virgin Galactic Spaceship 2. Virgin designed it specifically so that someone who is not in very good physical condition can get to the spaceport two days before their flight and still be perfectly fine when they go up. Climbing Mt. Everest on the other hand requires a lot more prep and that you are in a much better physical condition. Also it is much more of a time commitment than space tourism is in its current form. So comparing space tourism to climbing Mt. Everest is not a comparison that has any validity.
My point for bringing up Mount Everest was to explain my point that even a difficult and expensive endeavour like climbing Mount Everest still has 150 people on average that are willing to pay $75,000 for the chance. SO... something like a sub-orbital jaunt with VG will be even easier and more likely to get a customer base.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
raptorborealis":28sduej2 said:
DarkenedOne":28sduej2 said:
"The reality is that the price of a Shurtte flight, Concord flight, military jet, etc . does NOT go down over time."

The reason for this lies in the markets for the vehicles. Manufacturers do not decrease prices for the fun of it. They decrease prices in order to increase the number of customers. In each of the vehicles you talked about the manufacturers have a monopoly. In the case of the Shuttle or military jets there is only one customer, the government. In the case of the Concorde it had a monopoly on supersonic travel because people realized that the supersonic market was a dead end, thus no producers were building any more of them.
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Baloney.

There is fierce competion in the military jet industry. Millions are spent by companies pushing their product. My country just announced the purchase of 12 billion dollars worth of military jets after intense international competition.
Sorry I thought you were talking about in the US. The US pays tones of money for its planes. Of course there is the performance as well. Prices generally decrease over time given the same performance. However with all the gizmos and stealth capabilities added to planes these days it is no wonder the cost more.



The Concorde had no competioon because it was white elephant... a money loser.. otherwise equally faster aircraft would have been economical by other companies. Airlines go bust not because they can't fill airplanes but because they can't get people to fill the more expensive seats... folks want to go from A to B cheaply...not in luxury for another $300. The market for an airplane to fly from New YorK to LA full of $1000 seats does not exist...no amount of free champagne or lobster entices even most millioniares to fly first case.
Exactly. So they had no competition and no reason to decrease prices.

Space tourism is dandy in theory. The reality it will be a dud after an initial bout of hooplah. 'Perhaps' some form of it may sprout up one day but it won't be for another century.
Well I respect your option, but I disagree.

There are several indications that the market will be significant. First you have the Zero-G corp which seems to be pretty successful flying people in parabolas for a weightless experience. Then you the fact that Virgin Galactic has booked hundreds of tickets before they even have an operational vehicle. Then you have the williness of some very wealthy people to pay tens of millions to go into orbit. I also know several people who have gone on those zero G flights. I also would love to go myself someday if I can afford it.

I think it is going to be a decently sized market.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
kk434":o4e43nsb said:
There was a steady rate of orbital tourists on soyuz until they closed the program. I hope they will some day reopen it. There is a plan to build an extra soyuz each year just for tourists.
They did not close it. They simply suspended it because they only build 4 a year and all 4 were needed to transport to the ISS. The Russians plan to start producing a 5th one in 2011 in order to do it again.
 
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ZacFarr

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Gravity_Ray":33qioojj said:
ZacFarr":33qioojj said:
I would like to point out that climbing Mt. Everest is nothing like traveling into LEO, especially in a spaceship like the Virgin Galactic Spaceship 2. Virgin designed it specifically so that someone who is not in very good physical condition can get to the spaceport two days before their flight and still be perfectly fine when they go up. Climbing Mt. Everest on the other hand requires a lot more prep and that you are in a much better physical condition. Also it is much more of a time commitment than space tourism is in its current form. So comparing space tourism to climbing Mt. Everest is not a comparison that has any validity.
My point for bringing up Mount Everest was to explain my point that even a difficult and expensive endeavour like climbing Mount Everest still has 150 people on average that are willing to pay $75,000 for the chance. SO... something like a sub-orbital jaunt with VG will be even easier and more likely to get a customer base.

I completely agree. I was confused and thought you were saying the opposite. I think that LEO flights and even Orbital when we get there are going to take off fast, no pun intended.
 
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