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Published on Apr 2, 2012
One of the strongest incentives to space industry development in the 21st century is likely to be space tourism. At present the greatest handicaps to the exploitation of this opportunity are the prohibitive cost of access to space (few tourists could afford the ticket) and safety (astronautics remains an inherently dangerous occupation). This paper addresses both of these issues. First, the characteristics required of a vehicle suitable for carrying passengers into space are discussed in the context of the SKYLON spaceplane concept. Attention is focused on the design of the cabin module. Then the needs of the passengers are considered both from the perspectives of safety (the unique environmental hazards), health, and comfort. The paper concludes with a review of the key issues.