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Space Commercialization and Space Tourism

Revised: March 2011

"Now, when an American has an idea, he directly seeks a second American to share it. If there be three, they elect a president and two secretaries. Given four, they name a keeper of records, and the office is ready for work; five, they convene a general meeting, and the club is fully constituted.", Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon; and, Round the Moon, chap. I.

The theme of a few hardy inventors cobbling together a spaceship without anyone from the government looking on is obviously as old as science fiction itself. Today, there are several private launch services and satellite builders, a broker between Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, and people who want to visit the International Space Station, firms building suborbital spaceships for tourists, such as Virgin Galactic, and firms that want to serve as "space taxis", lofting supplies, crew, and visitors to the station, such as SpaceX, which recently launched a capsule to orbit and subsequently recovered it. This webpage is an overview of resources on the promising field of commercial enterprise in outer space. Other items of interest can be found in our webpages on Outsourcing and Insourcing, International Cooperation in Space, The Aerospace Industry, and Legislative Research and Space Law.

All items are available at the Headquarters Library, except as noted. NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: Call x0168 or email Library@hq.nasa.gov for information on borrowing or in-library use of any of these items. Members of the public: Contact your local library for the availability of these items. NASA Headquarters employees can request additional materials or research on this topic. The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.

Contents: Policies Books E-books Articles and Reports Internet Resources

NASA Policies

The following policies and procedural requirements can be accessed by anyone through the NASA Online Directives Information System:
NASA Policy Directive 1050.1I: Authority to Enter into Space Act Agreements
NASA Policy Directive 7410.3J: Performance of Commercial Activities
NASA Policy Directive 8610.7D: Launch Services Risk Mitigation Policy for NASA-Owned and/or NASA-Sponsored Payloads/Missions
NASA Policy Directive 8610.12G: Office of Space Operations (OSO) Space Transportation Services for NASA and NASA-Sponsored Payloads
NASA Policy Directive 8610.23C: Launch Vehicle Technical Oversight Policy
NASA Policy Directive 861024C: Launch Services Program Pre-Launch Readines Reviews
NASA Procedural Requirements 8705.2B: Human-Rating Requirements for Space Systems
NASA Procedural Requirements 8715.7: Expendable Launch Vehicle Payload Safety Program


Dillingham, Gerald L. Commercial Space Transportation: Development of the Commercial Space Launch Industry Presents Safety Oversight Challenges for FAA and Raises Issues Affecting Federal Roles: Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Accountability Office, 2009.
HD9711.75 .U62 C666 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Handberg, Roger. International Space Commerce: Building From Scratch. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2006.
HD9711.75 .A2 H36 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Harris, Philip Robert. Space Enterprise: Living and Working Offworld in the 21st Century. New York, NY: Praxis Publishing, 2009.
TL795.7 .H38 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Solomon, Lewis D. The Privatization of Space Exploration: Business, Technology, Law, and Policy. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008.
HD9711.75 .A2S59 2008 BOOKSTACKS
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Science. Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. Future Markets for Commercial Space: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Committee on Science, House of Representatives, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session, April 20, 2005. Washington, DC: U.S. G.P.O., 2005.
KF27 .S32 F88 2005 BOOKSTACKS
__________. Federal Aviation Administration. Office of Commercial Space Transportation. Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles and Emerging Markets. Washington, DC: Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Commercial Space Transportation ; Springfield, VA: National Technical Information Service [distributor], 2005.
HD9711.75 .U63 U54 2005 BOOKSTACKS
__________. The Economic Impact of Commercial Space Transportation on the U.S. Economy: 2009. Washington, DC: Federal Aviation Administration, 2010.
HD9711.75 .U6 E34 2009 BOOKSTACKS
The HQ library also has earlier reports in this series.
__________. Government Accountability Office. Commercial Space Launches: FAA Needs Continued Planning and Monitoring to Oversee the Safety of the Emerging Space Tourism Industry. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Accountability Office, 2006.
HD9711.75 .T68 F33 2006 BOOKSTACKS
__________. NASA: Commercial Partners Are Making Progress, But Face Aggressive Schedules to Demonstrate Critical Space Station Cargo Transport Capabilities. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Accountability Office, 2009.
HE9788 .A57 C666 2009 BOOKSTACKS
__________. Office of Science and Technology Policy. Capacity of the United States Industrial Base for Development and Production of Engines to Meet United States Government and Commercial Requirements for Space Launch Vehicles. Washington, DC: Office of Science and Technology Policy, 2009.
TL781 .U5 O887 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Vedda, James A. Choice, not Fate: Shaping a Sustainable Future in the Space Age. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris, 2009.
TL789.8 .U5 V433 2009 BOOKSTACKS


The e-book listed here is available to NASA civil servants and contractors through the Books 24x7 service of SATERN.
Olla, Phillip (ed.). Commerce in Space: Infrastructures, Technologies, and Applications. IGI Global, 2008.

Articles and Reports

Ashford, David. "New business opportunities in space", Space Policy, vol. XXIII, no. 4 (Nov. 2007), p. 241-242.
Billings, Linda. "Exploration for the masses? or joyrides for the ultra-rich? Prospects for space tourism", Space Policy, vol. XXII, no. 3 (Aug. 2006), p. 162-164.
Finger, G. Wayne. "Spaceport Performance Measures", in: AIAA Space Ops 2010, Huntsville, AL, April 25-30, 2010.
(20100039456: (April 2010) NTRS)
Gast, Matthew A. "Commercial Spacewalking: Designing an EVA Qualification Program for Space Tourism", in: 2010 61st International Astronautical Congress, Prague, Czech Republic, Sept.27-Oct. 1, 2010.
(20100011328: (Jan. 2011) NTRS)
Harris, Philip R. "Overcoming obstacles to private enterprise in space", Space Policy, vol. XXIV, no. 3 (Aug. 2008), p. 124-127.
Hertzfeld, Henry R. "Globalization, commercial space and spacepower in the USA", Space Policy, vol. XXIII, no. 4 (Nov. 2007), p. 210-220.
_________, and Nicolas Peter. "Developing new launch vehicle technology: The case for multi-national private sector cooperation", Space Policy, vol. XXIII, no. 2 (May 2007), p. 81-89.
Jurist, John M. "Commercial Suborbital Sounding Rocket Market: A Role for Reusable Launch Vehicles", Astropolitics, vol. VII, no. 1 (Jan. 2009), p. 32-49.
Launius, Roger D., and Dennis R. Jenkins. "Is It Finally Time for Space Tourism?", Astropolitics, vol. IV, no. 3 (Dec. 2006), p. 253-280.
Lindenmoyer, Allan. "Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstrations", in: Multilateral Medical Operations Panel, Cologne, Germany, Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2006.
(20060050052: (July 2007) NTRS)
Martin, Gary L. and John M. Olson. "Commercialization is Required for Sustainable Space Exploration and Development", in: International Astronautical Federation, Daejeon, South Korea, Oct. 15, 2009.
(20100027548: (Aug. 2010) NTRS)
OSMA Assessments Team. NASA Astronauts on Soyuz: Experience and Lessons for the Future, NASA/SP-2010-578, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, August 2010.
(20110002949: (Feb. 2011) NTRS)
Pelton, Joseph N. "A new space vision for NASA-And for space entrepreneurs too?", Space Policy, vol. XXVI, no. 2 (May 2010), p. 78-80.
Yohpe, Megan. COTS/CRS: KSC Evolving Host Initiatives with Commercial Space Partners, KSC-2010-207, Kennedy Space Center, FL, 2010.
(20100035289: (Dec. 2010) NTRS)
Zelnio, Ryan J. "Whose jurisdiction over the US commercial satellite industry? Factors affecting international security and competition", Space Policy, vol. XXIII, no. 4 (Nov. 2007), p. 221-233.

Internet Resources

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. 2011. [Jan. 4, 2012].
This is the not-for-profit which manages the International Space Station.
Craig, Kay. KSC Center Planning and Development Office. Jan. 31, 2011 [March 17, 2011].
Commercial Spaceflight Federation. March 3, 2011 [March 17, 2011].
This is the trade association for commercial spaceflight providers. The list of members is a set of links that take you directly to the members' websites.
Federal Aviation Administration. Office of Commercial Space Transportation. March 17, 2011 [March 17, 2011].
This is the federal office responsible for commercial spaceflight safety.
Department of Commerce. Office of Space Commerce. March 16, 2011 [March 17, 2011].
Taylor, Starr. Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office. Feb. 8, 2011 [March 17, 2011].
This office at Johnson Space Center is working with several commercial spaceflight services providers to develop both pilotless and, eventually, piloted space capsules to resupply the International Space Station.
van Dijk, Alexander. Flight Opportunities Program. March 7, 2011 [March 17, 2011].

Last Updated: March 2011