The Potential of Space Tourism for Space Popularisation: An Opportunity for the EU Space Policy?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Carnegie Room (University of Glasgow)
Antonella Forganni , ESSCA EU-Asia Institute
This article examines space tourism in the perspective of popularisation of space, to determine its potential role, with a special focus on the possible implications for the development of the EU Space Policy. After a preliminary analysis of space tourism and an overview of the technology required to make it possible, distinguishing between orbital and suborbital flights, the article outlines some legal and political issues related to this emerging sector and discusses the possible consequences of space commercialisation. The positive trend and the progress made in this domain suggest that space tourism could actually become a factor of space popularisation. At the same time, the existing legal framework does not seem to efficiently respond to the challenge. Rather than adapting the current air space and outer space rules, it would be preferable to establish a comprehensive special regulation. In the European context, in particular, space tourism could contribute to the evolution of the EU Space Policy, which is still at an early stage, and thus it could have a positive impact on the European integration process.