Revisiting the “space tourist” term

In this week’s issue of The Space Review, Rick Tumlinson writes about why visitors to the ISS like Anousheh Ansari should not be called “tourists”. The catch here is that this essay was actually written back in 2000, right after Dennis Tito signed with MirCorp to fly as the first passenger to pay his way […]

Just say yes

Orlando Sentinel columnist Eric Michaels recounts a trip on Zero-G’s aircraft he took earlier this year. It’s clear from his column that he enjoyed the trip; his stomach, not so much: “Trust me, I’ve never had so much fun making myself sick.” In his case, the queasiness didn’t come until after he completed all his […]

Spaceport Michigan?

The state of Michigan isn’t pursuing a spaceport, unlike next-door neaighbor Wisconsin (which may or may not be serious about a spaceport), but an editorial Friday in the Bay City Times suggests that the state should take the idea seriously. Why? Jobs and money, of course: “Don’t just think out of the box in trying […]

More on state spaceports

The AP has a review article on the “unprecedented rush to build snazzy commercial spaceports”, with a particular focus on efforts in New Mexico and Oklahoma. There’s not much new here, although the article thoughtfully includes a comparison to the last spaceport boom in the 1990s (some of the proposed spaceports listed on the map […]

SpaceShipOne as a “Kitty Hawk moment”

In an essay in this week’s issue of The Space Review, Bob Clarebrough called the 2004 flights of SpaceShipOne a “Kitty Hark moment”: “that instant when the impossible becomes a reality.” Clarebrough mentions this because suborbital passenger spaceflight has not yet won broad acceptance, pointing to some cynical commentary in both the American and British […]

A tale of two spaceports

Also in this week’s issue of The Space Review, Taylor Dinerman examines the number of commercial spaceports that have been proposed or are under development. Much of his essay is a contract between New Mexico, which is committing over $100 million to build a spaceport, and California, which has largely ignored space tourism and related […]

What an original concept

An essay in The Business newspaper in the UK by Madsen Pirie, president of the Adam Smith Institute, examines the state of the nascent space tourism industry. Pirie is surprised, albeit pleasantly, by what he sees: “What is interesting is the innovative approach which private enterprise has taken. Instead of having a committee approve a […]


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 […]