European consortium space company to offer 'affordable' trips to space

Dec. 14, 2013 at 1:24 PM   |   0 comments

MADRID, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A European aeronautical consortium announced plans to offer affordable trips to space out of Spain's Canary Islands.

The Swiss company S3 and several other European aeronautical companies with links to the European Space Agency said Thursday they aim to use a shuttle attached to an Airbus 300 aircraft rather than a regular spacecraft to bring tourists to space, TheLocal.sp reported.

The plane and the space shuttle will take up to four passengers and two pilots first about 6.2 miles above the Earth's surface, at which point the shuttle would detach and continue the 434 miles into space.

Unlike regular spacecraft, the consortium's design will be reusable after more than one voyage, significantly reducing costs. However, ticket prices have not yet been announced.

The group said trial launches will take place in 2018, with passenger trips likely beginning in 2020.

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