Congressman Dana Rohrabacher 




Photo ©  Debbie Stock    Congressman Dana Rohrabacher


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"With the development of reusable launch vehicles, a technological threshold has been crossed. Space will no longer be the purview of the military and government, with the civilian sector on the outside. Because of these technological developments that we've experienced and the new reusable rockets that we are developing, we can expect, in the future, an ever expanding role for the commercial sector. Part of that expanded role will include space tourism.  

In the past, space has been something in which the average citizen has been an observer and has been excluded from participating. With reusable rockets and the new configuration of Americaa's space program, I expect the average citizen to be increasingly included in space, in space enterprises, and in space travel. Not only is it going to be the space scientists, military personnel, and astronauts. Pretty soon the word astronaut will go the way of the word "aeronaut." In my dad's day, "aeronaut" used to be the word for anyone that had ever been in a plane, because so few people had been in an airplane. In the future, we can look to the day when "astronaut" will no longer be applicable because so many people will have been up in space.  

This is the day about which dreamers and science fiction writers have dreamt. This is the day they are included. We are now going to permit the dreamers to participate personally in space travel.  

I see this day coming very rapidly. I see it as a time when the space program will not only make money from commercial enterprises, but part of that commercial enterprise will be space tourism, where individuals will be enjoying this incredible experience." 

Space Travel and Tourism Division of the Space Transportation Association press conference