New Passenger Plane Can Take You Around the Globe or Out of It
Since most of us couldn't make it passed the weigh-in portion of the astronaut entrance exam, buying a ticket to space is probably the next best thing.
Hopefully, the people behind a new passenger space plane could solve both of those problems. Reaction Engines Limited in the UK have started conducting tests on the engine for their Skylon space plane.
The spacecraft will be an 82 meter long, un-piloted space plane powered by two "SABRE hybrid air-breathing/rocket engines" that run on liquid hydrogen and can push the craft to a speed of Mach 5.5. The company claims the plane will take 10 years to develop at a cost of $10 million per launch.
This plane was designed for transporting satellites and other cargo into space. However, there are plans to develop the reusable craft for purposes. For instance, the company has begun a study on the passenger prospects of their plane. Preliminary plans include a "passenger module" in place of the cargo hold that could safely carry 30 to 40 passengers into orbit. Tickets per passenger could run to just around $100,000 per person.
Just imagine anyone being able to travel through space simply by buying a ticket. Even better, imagine watching cute stewardesses bending over to hand you a bag of peanuts in zero gravity.
Ground control to major BOING!