According to a recent article by Chris Pleasance…
Futuristic planes based on spaceships which could allow passengers to travel from London to Sydney in two and a half hours are being developed.”
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactics space flight company says that a space tourism plane that it is currently working on could be modified and turned into a super jet. The “Concorde-like aircraft” would travel outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and enter into orbit, using the Earth’s gravitational forces to travel at incredible speeds.
The spacecraft/super jet would travel around 4,200 mph and cover the distance of 10,500 miles from London to Sydney in just 2.5 hours.
So far Virgin’s SS2 aircraft has only managed to exit the stratosphere, the second lowest part of Earth’s atmosphere, though the company still says it will launch its first flights next year. Its manned spacecraft has become the highest commercial winged vehicle to ever fly and used its shuttlecock-inspired ‘feather system’ to safely re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
Eventually Virgin Galactic would like to create “Space Cruise Ships”, these cruise ships would take people away from earth and outside the atmosphere. Virgin Galactic’s Stephen Attenborough said they could serve as orbital hotels, and even allow tourists to travel to the Moon and back.
The company has already collected around $80million (£50m) in deposits from approx. 640 wealthy individuals interested in being some of the first space tourists. However Sir Richard himself and his family are due to take the first trip. Branson has also launched a TV competition show aimed at rewarding one winner with a ticket on board one of the SS2 craft (I’d gladly accept that victory).
Check Out the below video to see the aircraft in action and a description about the upcoming reality TV competition show.