Fly from London to Sydney in two hours

We ran a story recently on gap years in space and how the commercial space industry is set to take off. Well, it seems as if another company is looking to invest in the future of commercial space flights.

Michiel Mol, 42, who is the co-owner of the Formula 1s Force India, has teamed up with the Dutch airline KLM in setting up Space Expedition Curaçao. The new airline will be a direct rival to Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, who is looking to launch commercial flights in to space as early as 2013.

Mr Mol said that his spacecraft will be capable of travelling at 14,000 mph, making every city in the world accessible within two hours. He said: “Being able to travel from London to Sydney in an hour and 45 minutes, that is the future.

“I think there will millions of people who would prefer to be in Sydney in a little more than one and a half hours rather than 24 hours.”

Weekend breaks to Auckland, Sydney or São Paulo could be a reality for those who could afford it.

Tickets will cost £60,000 each, which isn’t exactly cheap, but that’s less than half the price of Virgin Galactic (costing £129,000). 35 people have already signed up for the flights.

The Space Expedition Curaçao website describes the flight in detail, claiming that you’ll burst through the sound barrier within a minute. Two minutes later the craft will be going “faster than a speeding bullet”, which is roughly the same speed as Superman. When the spaceship reaches an altitude of 37 miles the engines are switched off.

Once the spacecraft reaches its maximum height of 62 miles you’ll gradually glide back to earth at the end of an hour-long flight.

They expect to have commercial space flights within 15-20 years.

The last man who took a commercial flight into space was Guy Laliberte, the French-Canadian founder of Cirque du Soleil, who paid approximately $35 million for the luxury. However, as more and more companies are looking to venture in to space, and as it gets more and more popular, commercial space flights can only get cheaper.

If and when commercial space flights are available and affordable, do you think it will change the nature of backpacking knowing you’re never more than two hours from home? Will you ever consider a commercial space flight? Comments below.

Quotes taken from The Mail.