On the Horizon: Space Flights for $475

Cheap, sub-orbital trips could be reality in a decade

By Andrew Dermont,  Newser User

Posted Mar 3, 2010 4:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Need a vacation? Aerospace engineer Burt Rutan says in the next 10 years a flight to space may be as cheap as $475. In an interview with BigThink, the space pioneer who famously designed the first plane to fly around the world without stopping explains how he, under the auspices of Sir Richard Branson, plans to make space travel an affordable tourism industry.

"What I am doing with commercial sub-orbital space flight is really experience-based. In other words, I want to feel like what the people do at the International Space Station. I want to float around weightless for minutes. I want to see the black sky and the thin film of the atmosphere, and I want to feel the displacement from earth," Rutan says. Of the 100,000 people who he expects to buy tickets in the next 12 years, Rutan hopes a smart few will be inspired to invest in the final frontier.

This image provided by NASA shows the International Space Station backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, Feb. 19. 2010.
This image provided by NASA shows the International Space Station backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, Feb. 19. 2010.   (AP Photo/NASA)
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