The flight will consist of two stages on a space jet comparable to a business jet sized vehicle and will carry four passengers. The space jet will take off from a conventional airport and normal jet engines will carry the craft to an altitude of 12 km when the rocket engines will be ignited. In a mere 80 seconds the rockets will have propelled the space jet all the way up to an altitude of 60 km. The ship will receive enough boost from the rockets to lift it to its peak altitude of 100 km where it will hover weightlessly for 3 minutes and give tourists an incredible view of the Earth. Passengers will get plenty of opportunity to catch a view with the 15 windows, each 30% bigger than a standard jet window. The jet will then make its descent slowly until the jet engines can safely be initiated. The jet will then land at a standard airfield. In total, the entire trip will last between an hour and an hour and a half.
Below is the promotional video of a flight from EADS Astrium:
Estimated to cost around one billion euros, the project will largely be supported by private capital. Return on investment will from the emerging and very promising suborbital space tourism market. Astrium says that the price per ticket could be anywhere from €150,000 to €200,000. Following five years of operation, EADS Astrium hopes to have claimed 30% of the space tourism market.
It seems that the private space industry is growing at an ever faster pace. I can only hope that this is just the beginning. My guess is that we will witness several other companies make announcements about entering the great private space race before 2012--especially if Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipOne and Bigewlow Aerospace's space hotels take-off (no pun intended). I do believe we are at the start of an exciting time period here.
- Money Backing the Private Space Industry.. Part 3--Robert Bigelow
- The Manifest Destiny: Mark II (Essay on our destiny as humans to colonize space)
- Magnetic Launch System
- The Top 10 Things to Experience in A Space Hotel
- Summer Williams:The best cheerleader for space--Literally
- Money Backing the Private Space Industry.. Part 2
- Money Backing the Private Space Industry.. Part 1
- About This Blog--My Purpose