[FPSPACE] SpaceShipOne's 3rd flight

DwayneDay zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 5 10:24:57 EDT 2004


-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Faranetta <chris.faranetta at verizon.net>

>At the risk of sounding rude  and with the direct intention of starting a debate, how can you say that 100k USD is too much for a sub-orbital flight? Have you ever worked in the luxury travel business or sold a sub-orbital or orbital flight?

This is an opinion forum.  Usually when someone voices an opinion that others consider unsound, the proper response is to ask for facts to back up that opinion.  However, if you think that we should all post our resumes before sounding an opinion, then that changes things considerably.  (I think the Redskins are a lousy football team, but is that invalid because I've never played for the NFL?)

Anyway, to get past that silly diversion and to the issue at hand, there is a space tourism market study available:

http://www.futron.com/spacetourism/downloadreports.htm

(You gotta register before getting it, but Futron's report used to cost $2500 and is now available free.  Also, I happen to know several of the people who worked on the report, although I've never really discussed it with them.)

>From a quick look at the suborbital part (page 26), Futron concluded that over half of a subset of their respondents were willing to pay between $100K and $250K for a suborbital spaceflight.  However, the "reality check" portion of the report (the next several pages) does seem to cast a little bit of doubt on this data.  For instance, if a respondent never spends more than $20,000 a year on a single discretionary purchase, how likely is it that they are _really_ willing to spend 10 times that amount on a suborbital spaceflight?  Put more simply, there is some reason to be skeptical that all the people who replied that they are willing to spend $100-250K per flight actually _are willing_ or _can_ spend that much money on a flight.

So my gut (not my resume) still remains skeptical that there is a substantial revenue stream at $200K for a suborbital flight.  Note that I'm not saying there is _no_ revenue stream.  But that this cost-per-ticket is too far to the right on that demand/cost curve to be successful.

There's my opinion, backed by facts.  Since you want to start a debate, I await your facts.




DDAY





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