Ideas shared on space travel
Summit explores industry’s future
The next generation of thinkers about space travel came together Wednesday to discuss a future that includes virtual realities, space hotels and thrill rides.
Space tourism offers a “whole new market of adventure-seeking tourists,” Prof. Abraham Pizam, chairman of tourism management at the University of Central Florida, said.
Pizam was among more than 100 scientists and entrepreneurs attending the Space Investment Summit at the Omni Orlando Resort.
The Boeing Co., a builder of spacecraft for NASA, was a major sponsor and hopes soon to be building commercial spacecraft for some of those who attended.
Pizam believes the commercial space market is growing, even though true space tourism to date has been limited to a handful of wealthy people.
“Even at this stage there is a market,” said Pizam, who includes virtual reality games and Earth-bound space parks under the heading of commercial space ventures.
A Brevard County representative said commercial ventures could fill the economic void created when the shuttle stops flying in 2010, causing at 3,500 jobs to be lost from Kennedy Space Center.
And that commercial space travel eventually will mean jobs for Brevard County. “There will be manufacturing and ground control work associated with placing some of these tourist sites in orbit,” DiBello said.
Space tourism can be more than launching a rocket into orbit. Video games, amusement rides that mimic space flight and virtual reality games set in a space environment are part of the space industry, one entrepreneur said.
Source:? Patrick Peterson (2009). Ideas shared on space travel,? floridatoday.com published May 28, 2009. Viewed May 29, 2009,? http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20090528/BUSINESS/905280311/1003/