Monday, May 2, 2011

Space Tourism Society’s +10, Turning a Family into an Industry

On Thursday I attended Space Tourism Society +10 event in Los Angeles, CA. Dennis Tito, Space X, Virgin Galactic, 62 Mile Club and others spoke. This was less of a Commercial Space conference for those familiar with the feel of Space Access or Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace Conference. Instead this was more of a Dennis Tito-focused celebration of how far space tourism has come over the last ten years and what is to come in the next ten years.

What surprised me was the diverse audience at +10. I spoke with Alan Stern before the event.  He commented on the high percentage of new faces in attendance. During the pre-meal reception, I spoke with:
  • entertainment executives,
  • real estate investors,
  • lawyers, and
  • Virgin Galactic customers undergoing centrifuge training.

The event taking place in LA partially accounts for the diverse attendance list. But when John Spencer, event organizer, gets on the front page of the USA Today (above the fold) talking about Space Tourism, you know Times: they are a-changin. For those close to the New Space community, be ready for "the growing of the tent". For those new to Space Tourism, New Space, Commercial Space, etc. – welcome!

I expect over the next years, investor (and customer) interest in the sector will continue grow at the expense of that “family reunion” feeling we get at current new space gatherings. This is healthy: the family is growing into an industry. And it looks like an industry more and more each day. The Space Tourism Society’s +10 even is only the latest indication.

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