“We estimate that about 40 percent of the interested, high-net-worth population, or 3,600 individuals, will fly within the 10-year forecast,” it added.
The study, which included surveys of 200 people with a net worth of least $5 million, valued the fledgling industry at $600 million in its first decade, based on current market conditions and interest.
The market could be worth nearly three times that if marketing and consumer interest grows in the wake of successful flights, the study said.
“Further potential could be realized through price reductions and unpredictable achievements such as major research discoveries, the identification of new commercial applications, the emergence of global brand value, and new government (especially military) uses for suborbital reusable vehicles,” the study said.
After tourists, the next biggest group of potential users are in the research community. Other potential markets include technology flight demonstrations, media and public relations, education, satellite launching, remote sensing and suborbital travel from one destination to another, a technology that is likely beyond the study’s 10-year time frame.
The $277,000 study, titled “Suborbital Reusable Vehicles: A Ten-Year Forecast of Market Demand,” was paid for by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial spaceflight, and the state of Florida, which is home to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.