Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Space Science

Europe Unveils New Space Plane for Tourist Market 139

mrminator writes to tell us is reporting that Europe's largest space contractor, EADS, has just announced their plans to build a new space tourism vehicle. The new rocket, powered by liquid methane and liquid oxygen will carry passengers on a 90 minute round trip flight for somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 euros ($267,000).
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Europe Unveils New Space Plane for Tourist Market

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Cheap Thrill (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZombieRoboNinja ( 905329 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:24PM (#19497715)
    Um, $200,000 is 10 years' salary for someone "poor" by U.S. standards, and 1000 years' salary for someone relatively "poor" by global standards. Sorry, but by any meaningful definition of the word, anyone who is willing to pay $200 grand for a 90-minute flight is extremely wealthy.
  • 90 seconds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Judinous ( 1093945 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:25PM (#19497741)
    Cost issues aside, I think that 90 seconds of weightlessness in a 90 minute flight is rather lame. Aside from the nice view, wouldn't it be better to just rent out a stripped-down 747 and go into repeated dives, like they do to train astronauts for zero-g?
  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:25PM (#19497745)
    For me, anything that gets people investing in space is a good thing.

    IMHO, and this does sound a bit corny, but there are two technologies that are the key to the survival for humans long-term... Energy and space, so people can get self-sustaining colonies on the moon, Mars, and outwards.
  • Pipe Dream? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N3WBI3 ( 595976 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:27PM (#19497757) Homepage
    "Auque said the company has determined that designing and flight-qualifying its proposed space plane would require 1 billion euros in investment."

    At about 18 Million per flight they would have to fly 55 flights to break even on their investment. Add on the maintenance cost they will incur and this looks like it will end up being AirBus space a 'company' which constantly has to be subsidized by European governments.

    This also caught me "He said Astrium has surveyed other space-tourism projects, mainly in the United States, and found most of them lacking in engineering or business-model seriousness. "There are those who think you can design a rocket plane in a garage," Laine said. "Suffice it to say that that is not our niche."

    Hello SS1? how many projects from Europe were serious contenders for the X-Prize? I would be willing to be that Virgin / SS1 is up in the air before this pipe dream..

  • Round trip? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:28PM (#19497775)
    That that just mean landing on Earth? How about they throw in a landing zone in Texas so that people can get an intercontinental flight out of it?
  • by perlhacker14 ( 1056902 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:35PM (#19497887)
    Right now, the focus should be on exploration and discovery, rather than interspace joy rides. Scientists and governments should begin focussing on manned missions to Mars and the like, rather than tourism. Will Space become another touristy area? With a price that most fairly well off bussiness people and the like may afford, that may well be the case. I, for one, think that our focus and money need be on exploration and discovery, rather than tourism.
  • Re:Cheap Thrill (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:36PM (#19497897) Homepage Journal
    Hmmmm.... Buget in about 170$ per month over 10 years and you can do it. Even on a "poor" salary. It's the whole power of budgetting your income. If you calculate your spendings correctly, you can set aside stuff in the long term without suffering. 170$ is less than a car payment (if you did a complete loan on your car). I won't say that the poor can, but this way it is in the range of the middle class of the western world. Learn about making a budget here. []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @06:10PM (#19498235)
    If you're going into space on a 90 minute flight, why not actually GO somewhere, rather than returning to your point of origin?

    How about a flight from London to Sydney in 90 minutes? That way you can at least have a nice holiday as part of the experience.

    I've been waiting since the 80's for that aerospace plane that will get me from the USA to Australia in a matter of a couple of hours. What's up with that?
  • Re:Pipe Dream? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @03:25AM (#19502139) Journal
    And Boeing has never been subsidised by the US gov? Give me a break.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"