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EADS Unveils European Space Plane Design

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posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 06:02 PM
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Europe's biggest aerospace company, EADS, has concluded that carrying wealthy tourists to 100 kilometers in altitude for several minutes of weightlessness could be a multi-billion-dollar industry in 20 years and is seeking co-investors to build a rocket plane it already has designed.



Taking off from an as-yet undetermined spaceport using two conventional jet engines, the plane would climb to 12 kilometers in altitude before its rocket engine ignites, powering the vehicle through the atmosphere and into a coast phase whose 100-kilometer apogee would provide passengers with one and one-half minutes of near-zero-gravity experience.

The round trip would last about 90 minutes. The plane would carry four passengers and a pilot, with the passengers each paying about 200,000 euros ($267,000) for the experience.


SOURCE:
Space.com


I'm glad to see more and more companies looking into the space tourism market,
as it will eventually lead to the average person being able to go into space.

This is actually more what I have expected/wanted to see a Space Plane look like to.
Of course than I'd love to see a 747 retrofitted with rockets and such and blast them into space,
but hey, you take what you can get.


Comments, Opinions?



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 06:26 PM
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Cool, now FAA, JAA et al will have to create a Comercial Pilot's Licence Space rating !!

This stuff is getting more and more like Star Wars.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 08:10 PM
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They're using a Learjet based plane here in the US. It's going to be the same design. Jet engines to take off, rocket engine fires and boosts it into very low orbit.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 08:14 PM
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Clearly the vehicle is not designed to reach very high altitudes as it does not require a heat shield. Still small steps.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson
Clearly the vehicle is not designed to reach very high altitudes as it does not require a heat shield. Still small steps.


You are correct, it's only meant for short 0g expeditions, not orbital insertion or
even sustained LEO.

And you are also right about small steps.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 10:49 PM
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Hey Iori nice new avatar.

I heard on BBC TV news that the greenhous gas emissions of this are only a fifth of that for a trans Atlantic flight, but on an airliner that emission is divided between 300 odd people.

I would like to see some honest accounting of the greenhouse emissions on a per passenger basis instead.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson
Hey Iori nice new avatar.

I heard on BBC TV news that the greenhous gas emissions of this are only a fifth of that for a trans Atlantic flight, but on an airliner that emission is divided between 300 odd people.

I would like to see some honest accounting of the greenhouse emissions on a per passenger basis instead.



Well I'm terrible at Mathematics, but I suppose you would need to take the amount of GHG's
produced by a normal transatlantic flight, figure out what 1/5th of that is, than divide that by 10.


Oh, and thanks, it's part of my growing Solar System set.




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