Anyone who has endured the 24 hour journey from the UK to Australia will know just how exhausting and uncomfortable it can be – especially if you’re flying direct, though this does slash seven hours off the duration. But what if we told you that long-haul flights to the land down under were no more? In fact, what if we said you could instead get there in just 90 minutes?
You probably wouldn’t believe it, but it just might be the future if UK Space Agency get their way.
The company has already kicked off plans to create suborbital spacecrafts for human launches allowing tourists to travel not only across continents, but into space. Yes, really!
As reported by Pretty52, the UK Space Agency is already drafting up regulations for the launch which is set to rival NASA and US technology giants. And if all goes to plan, the spacecrafts, which will set off from a spaceport in Newquay, Cornwall, will be ready and operating as soon as 2020.
While flying across continents in record time is impressive, the spaceport plan, which has a funding of £20 million, is also focused on becoming the first space tourism offering in Europe. However, they’re facing tight competition from Virgin Galactic spacecrafts, who have already launched a campaign to become the first take passengers beyond Earth.
Speaking about the potential launch of space tourism in the UK, British astronaut Tim Peake, 47, said: ‘For Britain to be the first spaceport in Europe to be able to offer that service because we have the legislation in place, because we’ve sorted out our infrastructure, that will be huge.’
He continued: ‘It’s a very exciting time right now. Space tourism can come under some criticism as a sport for the rich but that’s how a lot of things start, that’s how aviation started…what might be perceived as an expensive folly today actually can in future become a very efficient means of transport.’
Similarly, UK Space Agency’s Andrew Kuh added: ‘The Space Industry Act 2018 has already put in place the legal framework. We’re hoping to have the right regulations in place so that we could launch from Britain.’
As you can imagine, a trip to space won’t exactly be a budget holiday. Instead, be prepared to dig out a small fortune. More than 600 people have already paid a whopping £157,000, or put down deposits to fly aboard Virgin’s sub-orbital flights, including the likes of Hollywood royalty Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.