Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

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

Filed under

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

Today in Techrights

The BEST Android Phones Of 2015

Android has always been associated with the best known handsets, the best specs and for always being the platform with the most advanced features, whether imaging, processors or display technology. And 2015 was no exception. Apple’s iPhones have always been plenty powerful, but handsets from Samsung, LG and HTC have always strived to take things further, introducing never-before-seen-technology, features and USPs like water-and-dust-proofing, QHD screens and the first implementation of optical stabilised cameras (OIS) on mobile. Read more

KDE Plasma Screen Configuration Is Working On Wayland

Sebastian Kügler's latest KDE Wayland work has led him to discover that KScreen is now working on Wayland. Using KScreen for screen/monitor configuration with KDE Plasma on Wayland-based environments should now "just work" and is a step towards having suitable KDE Wayland multi-screen support. Read more

Turris Omnia Is a Linux-Based Powerful Open Source Router That Updates on the Fly

Turris Omnia is a new open source router that comes with powerful hardware and a Linux distro based on OpenWRT. It’s a smashing hit on Indiegogo, and there is still time to get one. Read more