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SpaceX will blast people across the Atlantic in a rocket in under 30 minutes by 2030, investors claim
- SpaceX’s rocket Starship could also be used for travel to destinations on Earth
- Point-to-point rocket travel on earth could dramatically reduce flight times
- It may take less than an half an hour to get from London to Shanghai or New York
- This will erase long-haul flights and be worth £15bn a year by 2030, say experts
Long-haul flights in a rocket will soon wipe out plane travel on Earth, said UBS analysts.
And it would only take a predicted 29 minutes from London to New York and less than one hour to Sydney on Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship.
Getting from point-to-point on Earth by travelling through outer-space could ‘cannibalise’ the current market for journeys lasting over 10 hours.
The Swiss bank predicted that the market of ‘point-to-point’ rocket travel will be worth £15billion a year by 2030.
Similarly, they said that the space tourism industry will be worth £2.3 billion by 2030.
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Long-haul flights in a rocket will soon wipe out plane travel on Earth, said UBS analysts. And it would only take a predicted 29 minutes from London to New York and less than one hour to Sydney
The future of long-distance air travel on earth will look like ‘point-to-point flights’, but in a rocket, said the financial experts.
Instead of planes that take off, fly and land in a new destination, rockets that launch into space from London could re-enter the atmosphere in New York in under 30 minutes.
Such high-speed travel via outer space’ represents a very lucrative market for the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, said UBS.
Jarrod Castle and Myles Walton, analysts with UBS, said: ‘Although some might view the potential to use space to service the long-haul travel market as science fiction, we think there is a large market.’
SpaceX’s Starship rocket has been tapped to take man to the moon and Mars but it may also be used for travel to destinations on Earth. Long-haul flights between countries may be wiped out by rocket travel that shoot a spacecraft into outer-space and back down to Earth again
‘While space tourism is still at a nascent phase, we think that as technology becomes proven, and the cost falls due to technology and competition, space tourism will become more mainstream’, they said.
For longer haul flights such as London to Sydney, which can currently take 23 hours, the rocket version will be less than an hour.
Space tourism to the likes of Mars will also become a reality, they said, with hotels signing up to build outposts in space stations.
The analysts predicted that the wider space industry, which is currently worth around $400 billion today will rise to $805 billion (£610bn) by 2030.
A journey from London to New York in the future could take less than 30 minutes in a rocket, according to experts. In January, Elon Musk’s space travel programme SpaceX revealed images of its fully-assembled Starship hopper test rocket
Currently, a direct commercial flight from London to New York takes around 7 hours 45 minutes.
On a rocket, it could take just 29 minutes.
The race to be the first company to send passengers to space is being fought between Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson, SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes to bring ‘space tourists’ to the moon by 2024, along with other plans to use Starship to reach the red planet sometime in the future
British billionaire Richard Branson, pictured here, plans to travel to space within the next four or five months aboard his own Virgin Galactic spaceship. Virgin Galactic is one of two companies, along with Blue Origin, on its way to sending passengers into space
UBS predicts that the market is huge even if a small percentage of passengers on turn to rocket travel to get from point to point.
In 2018, the bank notes, more than 150 million passengers spent more than 10 hours on a long haul flight.
But Elon Musk’s Starship rockets has a capacity of 100, and spacecraft sizes may be a limiting factor for the foreseeable future.
USB said it is unlikely that any rocket will carry over 300 people anytime soon, but that more frequent flights could solve the problem.
Elon Musk believes humans on Mars can cultivate food through hydroponics, or growing plants without soil. Pictured is a mock up of an astronaut using hydroponics to grow food on Mars
Virgin Galactic, which is charging £190,000 ($250,000) for a spot on one of its commercial flights, has previously said it would send passengers to space in 2019.
‘By July we should have done enough testing,’ he said.
But he doesn’t want to make any promises he can’t keep: ‘I need to wait for our team to say they’re 100 per cent happy. I don’t want to push them,’ he said.
According to Branson, the SpaceShipTwo’s next test flight is planned for February 20, depending on weather conditions.
THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE
Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule
Jeff Bezos’ space tourism project with Blue Origin is competing with a similar programme in development by Space X, the rocket firm founded and run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic, backed by Richard Branson.
Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.
The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.
The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos is pursuing Blue Origin with vigour as he tries to launch his ‘New Glenn’ rocket into low-Earth orbit by 2020.
Whilst Bezos is yet to leave the atmosphere of Earth, despite several successful launches, Elon Musk’s SpaceX programme has already sent the Falcon Heavy rocket into space.
On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent the rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away.
On board was a red Tesla roadster that belonged to Musk himself.
Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule
SpaceX have won several multi-million dollar contracts from Nasa as the space agency hopes to use the rockets as a fast-track for its colonisation of the red planet.
It has successfully sent a Dragon capsule to the ISS and undocked without a hitch.
NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission.
Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic recently successfully conducted a test flight of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity spaceplane.
The flight accelerated to over 1,400 miles per hour (Mach 1.87).
Calling space ‘tantalisingly close’, Branson also said last year that suborbital space in test flights could be happening by this spring.
More than 700 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips,
The billionaire mogul also said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX.
Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft
SpaceShipTwo will carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.
The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.
A climb to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere, at which point SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier aircraft, White Knight II.
The spaceship will then make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 3.5 hours.
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SpaceX will blast people across the Atlantic in a rocket in under 30 minutes by 2030