Nation Astronout Program

Topics: Human spaceflight, Third World, Space exploration Pages: 16 (6243 words) Published: March 10, 2013
There have been several third world countries which have sent astronauts to orbit in the past decades, and there will be more third world countries that will send astronauts to orbit in years to come. After the emergence of space tourism, where private astronauts or "space tourists" were allowed to stay onboard the International Space Station, there is no difference between space tourists and government-funded astronauts from third world countries, because both of them become customers of the same space program. Malaysia is an example of a third world country which is planning to send an astronaut to the space station through the program which is also available for space tourists. Because of the lower per-capita income and lower government budget in Malaysia compared to that of developed countries, there will be no other astronaut after the first, unless other space programs with lower cost are available. Due to that, space tourism, which has been identified as the alternative lower cost space program, will possibly be promoted by the astronaut program itself, and the astronaut program, which needs remain popular, will therefore be able to maintain its popularity. This possibility will make governments of the third world, which have sent astronauts to space, become strong supporters of space tourism. This paper studies the symbiotic relationship between an astronaut program of a third world country and space tourism development in the country. 1. INTRODUCTION

The "first world" countries are located in North America and Western Europe and include Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, while the second-world countries were under the influence of USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) during the Cold War. Several countries in the first and second world have sent astronauts to space. Their astronaut programs were influenced either by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or the space agency of the USSR. The rest of the world is known as the "third world." Countries of this region either do not have space agencies or have small space agencies with very limited activities. They have received no or only very limited cooperation from NASA or the space agency of the USSR. However, since 1978, when Vladimir Remek from Czechoslovakia became the first astronaut who was neither American nor Russian, several third-world countries have launched their own astronaut program with cooperation from NASA or the space agency the USSR to send their astronauts to orbit [1]. These third world astronaut programs are being implemented in order to promote the country's image internationally and to provide confidence and pride to its people. These programs have a different objective from that of the first world, which has been contributing to space science and technology through continuous experiments and studies conducted onboard the ISS and space shuttle missions. These third-world countries can send their astronauts to space only once because the high cost prevents a multiple trip. However, the rise in both educational level and economic standing of the third world has increased the awareness of the general public in the 21st century. And if a third world county has an astronaut program, it cannot send only one astronaut. Instead, it must create a program that will give its citizens the opportunity to be selected as astronauts in the near future. Currently, the lowest-cost astronaut program available to the third world is the program offered by Roscosmos (Russia's Federal Space Agency). This astronaut program enables astronauts from the third world to be transported by Soyuz launch vehicle onboard the ISS ( International Space Station). However, the cost of USD25 million per trip cannot be considered as low enough for the third world. This program is also available as a space tourism program. Therefore, a third-world country with an astronaut program will need to promote another program as a continuation of its astronaut...
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