SPACE TOURISM: Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation signs historic agreement with SpaceX

SPACE TOURISM: Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation signs historic agreement with SpaceX

NASSAU, BAHAMAS  — The Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (MOTIA) has announced it has successfully negotiated and executed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.), marking a significant leap for The Bahamas into the realm of space tourism.

The LOA establishes a strategic collaboration that positions The Bahamas as a global destination for witnessing booster landings.

SpaceX, a pioneer in space exploration, is currently finalizing mission designs where one of the company’s autonomous drone ships will serve as a Falcon 9 landing location east of The Exumas, offering a spectacle that will be visible only in The Bahamas. This unique opportunity sets the stage for tourists to witness awe-inspiring space events from cruise ships, resorts, and various tourist hotspots, solidifying The Bahamas’ position as a key player in the emerging space tourism industry. 

The exclusive visibility of rocket landings on an autonomous drone ship from various Bahamian islands distinguishes this destination as the only one of its kind worldwide.

The respective Bahamian landings covered in the LOA will not only support SpaceX’s Starlink mission but also contribute to saving lives, enhancing first responders’ capabilities, and ensuring connectivity in times of disasters.

“The technology embedded in this agreement represents a monumental development in rocket reusability, providing substantial economic advantages to The Bahamas and elevating its status in the global space industry,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper, Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.

“This Letter of Agreement with SpaceX marks a new era for The Bahamas.”

This historic agreement represents a pivotal moment for The Bahamas, propelling the nation into a key role in the global space industry. Simultaneously, it opens doors to unprecedented opportunities for our citizens, fostering long-term advantages for education, emergency response and innovation,” Cooper said.

“The Bahamian government aims to utilize this partnership for economic growth, job creation and enhanced educational opportunities.”

In tandem with the LOA, SpaceX has committed to supporting the creation of a space installation or exhibit showcasing recognizable hardware and a SpaceX spacesuit. This exhibit, the only one outside the United States, is expected to draw significant attention and attendance from both Bahamian citizens and international tourists.

In addition to potential revenue growth, The Bahamas has secured Starlink internet connectivity at multiple locations across the Family Islands. These terminals, designated explicitly for schools lacking sufficient internet capacity, will also bolster the area’s capabilities and operations of first responders. 

SpaceX’s commitment to educational outreach through STEM and space-focused presentations every quarter will impact the growth of STEM education in The Bahamas, providing invaluable opportunities for students and teachers.

Aisha Bowe, former NASA rocket scientist, and STEMBoard Founder & CEO, played a significant role in this achievement. In 2024, she is set to become an astronaut, marking her as the first Bahamian in space. Her journey, shared globally through interviews, presentations, and a documentary, aligns with the Bahamas’ vision for innovation and education. In collaboration with SpaceX over the past fifteen months, Bowe’s expertise and STEMBoard’s contributions were integral in outlining procedures for space operations in Bahamian territory. 

Cooper expressed the government’s commitment to expanding its impact beyond tourism.

“The Bahamas is poised to embrace its newfound role in the global space industry, marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s history. We look forward to a future where The Bahamas stands proudly as a trailblazer in space tourism and technology in line with our Blueprint for change and our Innovate242 initiative,” he said.