London, July 26 : Space tourism has yet not started for civilians, but the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already issued a warning that it might not begin at all if safety was neglected.
The caution came during the Space Frontier Foundation's annual meeting in Washington DC last week.
George Nield, head of the FAA unit that regulates commercial human space flight safety, said that it was time that space tourism operators got real about the extraordinary risks they faced.
He said that many civil companies were presenting their efforts as pioneering a "golden age".
"What's going on now represents a very different level of risk," New Scientist magazine quoted him as saying.
His presentation even mentioned early supersonic jets like the F-104 Starfighter, dubbed the Widowmaker, which took the lives of 110 pilots of the Luftwaffe alone.
Nield warned that neglecting safety could mean "an end to commercial human space flight before it has chance to get started".