Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Space tourism industry to run 'like fast-food franchises'

Filed under
Sci/Tech

Space pioneer Burt Rutan foresees space tourism companies running like a fast-food franchises, with his company licensing spacecraft to tour operators. But he says he may have trouble cutting through federal regulations to get there.

His company, Scaled Composites, built SpaceShipOne, the rocket plane that won the Ansari X Prize for private space flight in 2004. Scaled Composites has already signed a deal to build five spaceships for Virgin Galactic - a division of the Virgin Group.

Rutan declined to give detailed information about his future business plans before the US House Committee on Science's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics on Wednesday. But he did say he sees it running like a Wendy's fast-food franchise, with his company implementing strict rules for tour operators about safety and operations. "We won't sell spaceships to space lines that aren't safe to fly," he says.

Unlike SpaceShipOne, the next generation of Scaled Composite spaceships will have large cabins and big windows. Passengers will be able to float around the cabin during the four to five minutes of weightlessness. The trips will be a reasonably straightforward up and down voyage: Rutan says his company has not made the technological breakthroughs necessary for safe and affordable orbital trips as yet.

In the first year of operation, Rutan estimates that 500 people could fly to the fringe of space, about 100 kilometres. By the twelfth year, that number could reach 100,000, he says.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

4 keys to success for LibreOffice as a service

The announcement of LibreOffice Online this week came as welcome news to many people concerned about the paucity of online options for those who want software freedom with their online document solutions. But can open source SaaS succeed? The open source community needs a truly open alternative to current mainstream online document collaboration solutions, all of which are compromised by lock-in. LibreOffice Online will offer the full flexibility to deploy in-house or hosted cloud instances while using true open standards for its documents. Read more

Bazel: Google Build Tool is now Open Source

Bazel, the tool that Google uses to build the majority of its software has been partially open sourced. According to Google, Bazel is aimed to build “code quickly and reliably” and is “critical to Google’s ability to continue to scale its software development practices as the company grows.” Read more Also: Q&A: Databases, Open Source & Virtualisation with CEO Vinay Joosery

Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 Beta 2 Is Now Available for Download - Screenshot Tour

After announcing the Ubuntu 15.04 Final Beta and Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 2, it is now time to take a look at the second and last Beta release of the upcoming Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) operating system that has been designed especially for the Chinese Ubuntu Linux community. Read more Also: Ubuntu MATE 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) Beta 2 Switches to Systemd - Screenshot Tour Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) Final Beta Officially Released - Screenshot Tour

Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 2 Released with KDE Plasma 5 as Default Desktop - Screenshot Tour

Today’s announcement for Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) Final Beta also mentioned the immediate availability for download and testing of Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 2, an official Ubuntu flavor built around the modern and attractive KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment, as well as the KDE Applications project. Read more Also: Xubuntu 15.04 Beta 2 Released, Offers a Neat Xfce 4.12 Experience - Screenshot Tour