For those of you who have wondered in from The Space Review or other locales, welcome to my new blog. Personal Spaceflight is devoted to the emerging space tourism industry (the blog takes its name from one of the alternative terms put forward for “space tourism”, although none seem to have the cachet of the original term.)

Why space tourism? In recent years it’s become clear that space tourism is possibly the biggest—if not the only—growth market for the space industry in general in the near to mid term. Satellite launches for conventional markets, government and commercial, have been flat in recent years, and limited demand and high launch prices have created a vicious circle. Space tourism is perhaps the best opportunity to break that cycle, with a large market of willing customers (or “self-loading carbon-based payloads”, as Peter Diamandis has called them) sufficient to warrant the development of new vehicles that can access space at far lower costs—with potential applications beyond just ferrying passengers.

Space tourism has received growing attention in recent years, thanks to the Ansari X Prize and the flights of SpaceShipOne, and more recently with the activities of Virgin Galactic, Rocketplane Ltd., Space Adventures, and other companies seeking a share of the market. I’ve been following space tourism for several years, from back in the late 1990s when it suffered from the “snicker factor”: the inevitable giggle that would come from the audience of a space industry event when someone mentioned it with a straight face. That snicker factor is largely (but not entirely) gone, thanks in part to the very real accomplishments of the industry to date as well as the considerable investment being made by the likes of Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Paul Allen.

Of course, space tourism has its share of hype, dubious ventures, and unrealistic expectations. With Personal Spaceflight I hope to share both big news and little tidbits about the industry, good and bad, to provide a perspective on the state of the industry. This is certainly not the only blog that is devoted in part or in total to space tourism; I’m just adding my own voice to the cacophony. I hope to avoid unwarranted boosterism, but also extreme negativity: cautious optimism, with a mild dose of skepticism, is what I’m aiming for here. Please email me your comments, suggestions, questions, etc. about this blog. Let’s see just how vital space tourism is to the future of the space industry and spaceflight in general.

2 comments to Welcome!

  • Brent

    This is a great idea, Jeff!

    I’ve posted to the “Virgin/Bigelow Hookup?” story, but it still shows no comments.

    I think this is a great idea but it looks to be getting little attention. If its because the comments system is broken, this issue might have to be addressed.


  • Jeff Foust


    Thanks for checking out the site. The comment issue stemmed from a default configuration setting in WordPress (the software that runs this blog) that turned on comment moderation, which I’ve since corrected.

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