Nothing new here

This week’s international edition of Newsweek has an article about the growth of space tourism. The article is pretty typical stuff, covering the major companies in the field and several of the new spaceports under development. There is one interesting nugget: “The market for commercial space tourism is expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual revenues by 2020, according to a study released last month by Research Reports International, a market-research firm based in Evergreen, Colorado.” Has someone else done a market study of the space tourism market?

As it turns out, my employer (Futron Corporation) had purchased a copy of this report, which I reviewed yesterday. It turns out that there is little, if anything, original in this report: it is a synthesis of a number of publicly-available documents and data on the industry. (Some sections of it seemed to be cribbed, if not outright copied, from a number of FAA/AST reports, unfortunately without attribution.) There’s no new research here: the figures above some from such sources as the space tourism market study we did at Futron back in 2002, as well as the overall ASCENT market study performed for NASA in 2001-2003. So if you’re looking for new market research about space tourism, you won’t find it in this report.

[Disclaimer: Yes, I work for Futron. No, I don’t speak for them.]

6 comments to Nothing new here

  • Chance

    Are there any plans for another Futron market study in the near future?

  • Jeff Foust

    Chance: the company is certainly interested in doing a new study, provided there’s a customer willing to pay for it: doing surveys of the quality and rigor of the original study are rather expensive.

  • Chance

    I imagine they are quite expensive. You would think Branson or Bigelow would be requesting another one….. but I guess if they did they wouldn’t necessarily have to release the results.

  • At the Space Tourism Conference in London (7th June 06) Janice Starzyk (a colleague of you at Futron) said, that a new space tourism market study will be published by Futron this month. Did I get her wrong????

  • Jeff Foust

    Bruno: what Janice presented at the RAeS conference, and what will be in the upcoming white paper, is an adjustment to the original forecast model based on developments in the last four years, such as changes in ticket prices. The new analysis uses the same Zogby polling data about customer preferences and the like as the original study, however.

  • […] The idea of selling research reports for hefty prices is commonplace in a wide range of industries: when we originally released the Space Tourism Market Study at Futron four years ago, we charged $1,500 for the suborbital-only version and $2,500 for the suborbital and orbital version. (Two years ago we made the report free to all.) Another company, Research Reports International, issued a report earlier this year on the space tourism industry for “just” $199, although as noted here there’s not much original work in that report. USS does provide a table of contents and sample pages from the report; it’s tough to judge the report from that alone, but what’s provided suggests a comprehensive report, although at a basic level of detail and primarily regurgitating existing information. […]

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