29 July 2012
Added "Space Debris and Its Mitigation" to the archive.
16 July 2012
Space Future has been on something of a hiatus of late. With the concept of Space Tourism steadily increasing in acceptance, and the advances of commercial space, much of our purpose could be said to be achieved. But this industry is still nascent, and there's much to do. So...watch this space.
9 December 2010
Updated "What the Growth of a Space Tourism Industry Could Contribute to Employment, Economic Growth, Environmental Protection, Education, Culture and World Peace" to the 2009 revision.
7 December 2008
"What the Growth of a Space Tourism Industry Could Contribute to Employment, Economic Growth, Environmental Protection, Education, Culture and World Peace" is now the top entry on Space Future's Key Documents list.
30 November 2008
Added Lynx to the Vehicle Designs page.
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Welcome to Space Future

Space Future is for everyone who'd like to travel to space. The goal of affordable travel to space for the general public is not only practical but highly desirable. If you want to know why, read on...

About Space Future

Space Future is for everyone who'd like to travel to space for themselves. In fact most people would - but they don't expect to get the chance.

Our goal is that tickets to orbit should be as readily available as airline tickets. For this we need safe, low-cost, passenger-carrying launch vehicles. Space Future considers that developing these is now a realistic target for companies in the aerospace industry - which is painfully short of new business in the post-Cold War era.

Space Future believes that most people who are prepared to save up a few months' salary will get the chance to visit space and stay in an orbital hotel. Another way to space will be to work for one of the new industries that will quickly grow up in space once cheap launch services are developed.

Space Future's focus is opening space to the public, because we consider that, more than anything else, space is a place to go to. It so happens that space is an extremely entertaining place to go to - as everyone who has been there says. Ultimately space is also the future of the human race - or did you think there was somewhere else to go?. What you won't find here is things like astronomy, cosmology, space science and so on; there are already plenty of sites which cover these topics.

The key to reducing the cost of traveling to and from space is scale - that is, for people to go there in large numbers. Fortunately, market research shows that many many people in the industrialized countries would like to take a trip to space - a majority of the population, in fact. So demand could grow to million of customers per year - enough to bring costs down drastically.

Bringing this about is basically a business problem. The cost of developing safe, low-cost, passenger launch vehicles is trivial compared to the scale of business today, but it still needs funding. The "space age" - the real space age, that is, when millions of people live and work in space - will involve a lot of investment in living and working accommodation in space - investment which of course must be paid back. So people who live in space must sell some services and products to the people on Earth (from where the investment came) on a large enough scale to earn sufficient profits to repay the investment (of course communications and broadcasting satellites already earn revenues - but only a few $billions per year for the space industry. By comparison, a single large company today has a turnover of $50 billion per year or more! Satellites also require no people in space so they won't bring about the development of the vehicles we need).

To date the two best ideas are two of the largest businesses on Earth - tourism and electricity - which are already $1 trillion per year and growing fast. So Space Future focuses particularly on the development of these two businesses - tourism in space, and delivering electric power from space to Earth, which will both grow to enormous size as launch costs fall. We also focus on the vehicles, and we support all promising efforts in this direction.

But why should we bother? Why not leave space development to the government space agencies which already have so much experience? Because, unfortunately, the space agencies are going in quite the wrong direction. Taxpayers around the world pay $25 billion in taxes every year for civilian government space activities - but barely 2% of that money is spent on trying to reduce the cost of travel to space! Yet less than one single year of that spending would be enough to develop passenger launch vehicles, and to open space up to us, the general public - who are the people paying all those taxes, year after year!

So Space Future is collecting and publishing the growing body of work being done to bring about popular space travel; it introduces the people and organizations who are working to make the real space age a reality; and it will show that easy access to space is not only possible, but highly desirable, for many reasons - and also imminent, given your support. We discuss the issues, the problems and ideas to solve them, and the optimistic new era that will open as a result of this development - and what you can do to help.

So if you've ever wondered why nothing seemed to come out of all the work that went into the Apollo missions; if you've wondered when anyone 'ordinary' will get into space; or if you just want to have some fun in zero-gravity, Space Future is the site for you. We hope you like it! Let us know what you think.

If this is all new to you or you'd like to know more about the reasons behind Space Future, read about The Philosophy of Space Future.

How to Use This Site

There are several tools to help and enhance your navigation around Space Future, including:

  • The buttonbar (at the top and bottom of every page) provides access to every major part of the site, and is a one line summary of the front page.
  • The Directory of Contents is an index to every page on the site, assembled into a heirarchical list. Use this to find a specific page or as a relatively graphicless alternative to the home page.
  • Use the Glossaries to find references to terms, people, organisations and publications, both on- and off-site.
  • If all else fails, search Space Future from the search form.

Also, keep an eye out for the sidebar footnotes which annotate many of the pages; these often contain additional information and/or links that relate to the main text.

N.B.: If you have any suggestions on how we could improve any part of Space Future, we welcome your feedback.

A Quick Guide to the Site

Space Future consists of several main areas - the Topic Areas, the Glossaries, including the Papers & Publications archive, and the The Space Future Journal.

The Topic Areas are pages containing basic information and general overviews of the ideas and concepts involved in the development of space:

  • Space Tourism is all about the prospects for taking a trip to space, and eventually even stopping over for the weekend. What you could expect to do on a space trip, how much it would cost, and how it could be done; it's all covered here.
  • Space Vehicles covers the ideas and designs for the next generation of space vehicles, those that will form the backbone for the burgeoning space industries like space tourism.
  • Space Power looks at how solar power from space could solve the world's power needs and the work currently underway to make Solar Power Satellites a reality.
  • Space Habitat is all about the challenge of living and working in space; it covers everything from the industrialisation of space to the eventuality of people living there permanently; the implications for health and the challenges of adapting current laws to orbit.

The Glossaries are cross-referenced databases that every document on Space Future is linked to - any place a buzzword, acronym, author, company or publication is mentioned it is automatically linked to an entry in one of the glossaries from which you can find every other place it is mentioned, things that relate to it, and of course what it actually is...

  • Papers & Publications is the Space Future Publication Archive, and contains a growing number of documents or links to documents on every related subject.

    Space Future makes every effort to ensure the information on this site is accurate but accepts no responsibility for any liability caused as a result of use of the information here - please let us know of any errors or inaccuracies so we may fix them as soon as possible.

  • Who's Who is a (we hope) comprehensive list of people and organisations opening up space to the public - who they are, where they are, what they do and their email address and/or website, if they have one.
  • The Glossary of Terms is a simple but handy collection of terms, acronyms, and their definitons

Space Future Journal is a rolling journal of news, views, publication notices, media and press coverage and commentary on the growing trends towards space commercialisation, plus a diary of up and coming events.

Last but not least

...and of course:

Contacting Space Future

See the Masthead for various ways to contact us; we actively welcome feedback so please mail us any comments or questions you have.

Copyright and Disclaimer

Space Future makes every effort to ensure the information on this site is accurate but accepts no responsibility for any liability caused as a result of use of the information here - please let us know of any errors or inaccuracies so we may fix them as soon as possible.

All material copyright Space Future Consulting except where stated otherwise.

All documents held in the archive are copyright Space Future Consulting or the people and/or organisations attributed as author and/or publisher. Space Future gratefully acknowleges their kindness in allowing them to be presented here.

Please send comments, critiques and queries to feedback@spacefuture.com.
All material copyright Space Future Consulting except as noted.