...Lining Up For A Piece Of The Action

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Of course, the spinoff from such an industry could be huge and the maneuvering to capitalize on it has begun. According to the South Florida Business Journal, at least 10 states, including Florida, are trying to convince the new space tourism companies to choose them as bases for their operations. The paper says the research firm of Futron/Zogby surveyed 450 millionaires in 2003 and projected that private space flight would become a $1 billion annual business, with 15,000 people seeing the black sky in 2021. But it's not just launch sites and other infrastructure that will create wealth. After all, what's the point of taking the most high-tech adventure available without bringing home the most high-tech souvenir? Space Adventures, which has already put the first space tourists aboard the International Space Station, is now planning a suborbital program, and participants in either adventure will be able to beam home sophisticated real-time video of the experience. Ecliptic Enterprises Corp., of Pasadena, has been selected by Space Adventures to provide the imaging service on its flights via the RocketCam system. The system provides internal and external real-time video of the flight and was used by Rutan's team to document the flights of SpaceShipOne.