[FPSPACE] SpaceShipOne's 3rd flight

David Anderman davida at cwo.com
Tue Oct 5 10:55:21 EDT 2004

Ladies and gentlemen:

Why debate this issue, when Richard Branson plans to provide us an answer?


At 07:24 AM 10/5/2004, DwayneDay wrote:
>-----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:
>(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 
>There's my opinion, backed by facts.  Since you want to start a debate, I 
>await your facts.
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