Paper: Orbital and Suborbital Tourism Challenges – Some Legal Aspects (2023)


Space tourism is recreational space travel, whether by government vehicles, such as the Russian Soyuz and the International Space Station (ISS), or by vehicles built by private companies. Since the flight of the world’s first space tourist, American businessman Dennis Tito (28 April 2001), space tourism (orbital) has been slowly growing. Orbital space tourism is very expensive, so a number of private companies have decided to concentrate on building much cheaper suborbital vehicles, designed to take passengers to altitudes of up to 100 km. On

4 October 2004, SpaceShipOne, funded by Virgin Galactic and designed by an American engineer, won the X Prize and, in doing so, ushered in a new era of commercial crewed spaceflight and space tourism. Since then, the design and construction of suborbital spacecraft have become increasingly popular. Such ships, in principle, do not have the ability to cross the imaginary 100 km boundary and enter the Cosmos area. However, space tourists can find themselves weightless for a few minutes. In fact, not only technical but legal difficulties have caused suborbital tourism to develop at a slow pace so far. This article concentrates on some legal challenges regarding space tourism, not going into details about states’ politics and international organizations’ activities.

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