Monday, May 14, 2012

Space Tourism - The Malaysian March

                                                       Space tourism

"Space Tourism - The Malaysian March"," Unlike other kinds of tourism, this kind of tourism is relatively still a dream for many.
Its technology is radically different from any other type of tourism-related technology - maybe because it's a relatively new frontier just as when the airplane emerged - hence, it remains within the purview of government and a few agencies.
 Governments have generally dominated space activities mainly for military, scientific and communication purposes.
 For the past thirty years, ordinary people have watched to see when space will be opened up to the public to investigate just as any tourist investigates its destination unimpeded.
 Space tourism itself is not an easy venture to manage since the broad requirements for such a tourism venture involve technology and conditions vastly different from earth conditions.
 Before this excitement can be realized, the fundamentals of space travel must be sorted.
 The first private citizen to travel to space for a week stay in the international space station (ISS) - Dennis Tito - paid a whooping US$20 million to get aboard the Russian Soyuz.
 However, according to Virgin Galactic - one of the enterprising companies offering commercial space travel - the cost of traveling to space currently (as at 2011) stands at US$200,000 with a US$20,000 deposit.

The US $200,000 might not be a huge amount compared to the millions of dollars fare paid by the pioneer space tourists but is still out of reach for most people.
 The Russian Federal Space Agency provides up to six months training before a space tourist is finally approved for a space tour.

Furthermore, transportation to space follows after successful completion of the training.
 So far, the Russian Soyuz has been the only space vehicle to convey space tourists to the international space station (ISS) and back but this vehicle was not specifically designed as a space tourism vehicle.
 This is a work in progress for everyone and every space loving organization and government.

Additionally, accommodation issues must be sorted and it presents exciting possibilities in space.
 However, the ISS was not designed for this purpose.
 Bigelow Aerospace is gearing up for an independent mini space station of space tourists complete with its complex for the whole space tour.
 With accommodation in space, is there any limitation for other businesses? The imagination of man holds the answer.
 Sub-orbital space travel includes traveling some kilometers outside earth but not into the orbit of another body such as another planet or moon.
 This travel includes entering the orbits of other bodies in space or even other galaxies.

Many governments including Malaysia are either increasing awareness or beginning to develop these fundamentals to prepare for the exciting future of space tourism.
 It aspires to be an international tourism destination.
6 million visitors through its doors.
5 billion in 2010.
 This government agency seeks to develop the country's potential in the space sector.

The Malaysian National Space Agency is mostly concerned practically with science and science-related activities at the moment.
 The government is also sponsoring various competitions to encourage interest and participation in the sector.

This includes research on micro gravity sciences, space weather and scientific payload effects as indicated on the Malaysian National Space Agency website.

Prospects of Space Tourism in Malaysia and Implications for students

Space activity is gaining momentum in Malaysia.
 As with other progressive sectors, private sector involvement is critical if space tourism is to find its place in Malaysia.
 The space tourism sector will require a lot of boost to grow as with other tourism sectors.

Where such policies is inclusive to Malaysians, attractive to regional and international investors and practical to the global demand for sustainable space tourism, Malaysia will be on the path to exploiting the limitless reaches of space.
 Shall work-in-progress describe it?

Consider the implications for students.
 This is because the governments' direction in the sector will affect the attractiveness of the industry at home and by extension the success of the industry.
 Students who wish to be involved in the sector as employees will need to proceed with caution but students that want to engage in the sector as pioneers, trail blazers and/or researchers are encouraged to take the leap.


The following recommendations if implemented by the Malaysian authorities will accelerate the interest and development of space tourism in Malaysia;

Development of a clearer, more visible and practical space policy that communicates the benefits of space tourism to all Malaysians
Development of more learning facilities to train Malaysians on space related activities with a focus on future space tourism industry
Providing adequate incentives for student interested in space tourism and related space activities
Sustaining space related interest in secondary school students to prepare for the future space tourism industry
Developing appropriate feedback mechanisms to gain insight into peoples interest in space related issues
Develop plans to attract or retain young international talents to beef up development of the sector
Encourage more private businesses and tertiary institutions to diversify into space related product and services
Provide more visible and accessible data on space related activities to provide incentive for further research in the sector
Promote space activities with the same vigor as other tourism sectors are promoted in Malaysia
Improve national budget on space related activities to communicate more commitment to the sector.
 It was found that the space activities in Malaysia is supported and promoted by the government through the National Space Agency.
 Space tourism is still at the awareness stage in the country and more work will need to be done to ensure it gains the needed momentum required to add positively to the economy.
 For example, students interested in becoming researchers and pioneers of the sector were encouraged to take a chance to contribute to the development of the sector.
 What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment