Space Tourism and Sustainable Development


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Presentation on Space Tourism and Sustainable Development to British Interplanetary Society Space Tourism conference 29th November 2006. Links the development of low cost access to space to the issues of sustainable development.

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Space Tourism and Sustainable Development

  1. 1. Space Tourism And Sustainable Development Steven Fawkes 29th November 2006 BIS European Developments in Space Tourism Conference
  2. 2. Space Tourism and Sustainable Development may seem incompatible but…links on five levels: • operational • cultural • economic • resources • survival
  3. 3. 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 1986: 1st market study 1985: Society Expeditions/Phoenix 1996: X Prize announced 1998: Space Adventures formed 2001: Denis Tito flight to ISS 2004: SpaceShipOne first private spaceflight 2006: Spaceport developments 1968: Seminal papers by Hilton & Ehricke 1972: Club of Rome report 1962: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson 1970: US EPA formed 1990: 1st IGPCC report on global warming 1997: Kyoto Protocol 2005: GE launch Ecomagination & Walmart launches sustainability objectives 1995: Brent Spar 1973: 1st oil crisis 2000: 50% population live in cities Space Tourism and Sustainable Development Timelines
  4. 4. Sustainable Development “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” MAJOR INTERCONNECTED ISSUES: • Population growth • Wealth distribution • Resources: • Water • Energy • Minerals • Food • Environment: • Atmosphere • Land • Sea
  5. 5. Sustainable Development – Population Growth Overlays © Will Day, 2006
  6. 6. Sustainable Development – Wealth Distribution
  7. 7. Sustainable Development – Water Overlays © Will Day, 2006
  8. 8. Sustainable Development - Energy Overlays © Will Day, 2006
  9. 9. Sustainable Development – Mineral Resources “Providing today’s developed country level of services for copper worldwide (as well as for zinc and, perhaps, platinum) would appear to require conversion of essentially all of the ore in the lithosphere to stock-in- use plus near-complete recycling of the metals from that point forward.” R.B.Gordon, M. Bertram and T.E. Graedel Yale University Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 23rd Jan 2006
  10. 10. Sustainable Development - Resources
  11. 11. Sustainable Development – The Environment “Air pollution causes 2 million premature deaths a year” World Health Organisation “Air pollution causes nearly 170,000 deaths a year in China” World Bank
  12. 12. Sustainable Development – The Environment
  13. 13. Sustainable Development – Connections Overlays © Will Day, 2006
  14. 14. Corporate Responses to Sustainable Development Rejection and Non-responsiveness: “Very few companies today are actively opposed to sustainability concepts; most are simply ignorant of the issues and non-responsive” (WWF, 2003). Compliance: The “vast majority” of companies – activities include reducing operating risks and impacts and protection of corporate reputation. Efficiency: Actions include introducing policies to reduce costs. Despite the benefits to be gained, this approach to critical issues is often “managed outside the core business activities, and so missing strategic opportunities for value creation” (Draper, 2006). Strategic Proactivity: At this stage, corporations seek competitive advantage by, among others, engagement with stakeholders in product development. Sustaining corporations: “Vanguard” companies (WWF 2003) which are pioneering alternative interpretations of business values and success.
  15. 15. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Operations MAJOR ISSUES: • Design of ground based facilities: • energy • resource use • sustainable design and operation • Design of vehicles: • emissions (need holistic analysis) • cradle to cradle “C2C” design • Carbon neutral trip – offsets: • estimated cost of offset: • £25 for sub-orbital (cf. London to Singapore return) • £1,500 for launch to ISS (Soyuz technology, 3 PAX)
  16. 16. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Operations FAILURE TO BUILD SUSTAINABILITY INTO ANY BUSINESS IS NOW A MAJOR BUSINESS RISK: • Market perception risk • Regulatory risk • Social pressure risk (NGOs/public opinion)
  17. 17. BE CONSISTENT: Failure to be consistent is a business risk Space Tourism and Sustainability – Operations
  18. 18. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Culture POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF SPACE TOURISM ON CULTURE: • environmental consciousness • inspiration of the young • the frontier culture • sense of purpose • optimism
  19. 19. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Culture This photo is credited with kick-starting the mass environmental movement
  20. 20. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Culture “Before I flew, I was already aware of how small and vulnerable our planet is; but only when I saw it from space, in all its ineffable beauty and fragility, did I realize that humankind's most urgent task is to cherish and preserve it for future generations.” Sigmund Jaehn , 1st German Cosmonaut
  21. 21. “Nothing could have prepared me for the beauty of the view. It was breathtaking – watching the Earth from above without seeing borders, wars and divisions and realising how fragile the planet is. Every world leader should make the trip. They’d start to see things differently.” Anousheh Ansari Space Tourism and Sustainability - Culture
  22. 22. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Culture "The way I want to inspire kids is to fly to space and let them know that they can too” Burt Rutan “Space, the final frontier” Star Trek “Where there is no vision the people perish” Solomon, Proverbs 29 v8
  23. 23. “Perhaps the core message is that evolution and exploration are inseparable, that the curious intellect and the wondering spirit are the evolutionary process from inside. They are the hallmarks of humanity and the true propellants of spaceflight.” Wyn Wachorst “Man must explore and this is exploration at its greatest” Dave Scott, Apollo 15 Space Tourism and Sustainability - Culture
  24. 24. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Economics A NEW INDUSTRY: ''What this country needs is a really good $500 billion technology - something to reignite popular enthusiasm and the economy'‘ R Samuelson, Washington Post Space tourism revenue forecasts: $100 billion/year by 2030 $1 trillion/year by 2060 Patrick Collins Space tourism facts: $1 billion committed investment in spaceports - 2006
  25. 25. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Resources “3554 Amun, a mile wide lump of iron, nickel, cobalt, platinum, and other metals that has an orbit closely resembling that of the Earth’s……….3554 Amun contains thirty times as much metal as has ever been mined by human beings in the history of Earth. It’s value, at current prices and if mined slowly to keep commodity prices level, is estimated to be 20 trillion dollars.” John S. Lewis
  26. 26. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Resources Solar Power Satellites Projected European power demand in 2020 is 535 GW Energy dependence set to grow from 50% to 70% by 2030
  27. 27. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Resources Lunar helium–3 as a fuel source for fusion power Potential value of $140 million/100 kg “But one assumption that I know will be justified is that the Moon, the near-Earth asteroids, and the rest of the solar system contain the resources that will take mankind to the next level of civilization and prosperity.” Mike Griffin, NASA Administrator
  28. 28. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Survival “20 ways the world could end” include: Pandemic Nuclear war Gamma ray burst Asteroid impact Mega tsunami Super volcanoes Catastrophic climate change
  29. 29. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Survival “The real space race is between spaceflight and extinction” J. Richard Gott
  30. 30. “If we were up there among the planets, if there were self-sufficient human communities on many worlds, our species would be insulated from catastrophe,” Carl Sagan Space Tourism and Sustainability - Survival
  31. 31. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Conclusions Space Tourism is a growing industry Sustainable Development reflects real problems Sustainable Development is a business opportunity Space Tourism links directly to Sustainable Development through: • operations • culture • economics • resources • survival
  32. 32. Space Tourism and Sustainability - Conclusions Large parts of the Sustainable Development “industry” will oppose the idea of Space Tourism If the Space Tourism industry sees Sustainable Development as just as a “compliance issue”, then it will face considerable opposition Need to mitigate risks by: Designing sustainability into operations and systems Making the case that space is a vital part of sustainability A rare opportunity to design Sustainable Development into a new industry from the start
  33. 33. I have learned to use the word impossible with great caution Wernher von Braun A Final Thought Thank you for listening