Cheap space flights planned for Canary Islands

The space shuttle will detach from an Airbus 300 aircraft six miles above Earth Photo: Swiss Space Systems

A group of European Space Companies plan to offer “budget” trips to Space Tourists from Spain’s Canary Islands. Grègoire Loretan of Swiss Space Systems, the company leading the push, said treails were expected to begin in 2020 of technology that would allow the public an experience previously accessibleonly to astronauts and millionaires.

‘Our goal is to democratise the access to space’ said Loretan.

Launching from a base near Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, one of the largest tourist towns in the Canary Islands, the trips into space will be relativly low cost because the group plans to use an Airbus 300 Aircraft attatched to a space shuttle. Gran Canaria was chosen as a base, for both its growing tourism industry, and its location in the Atlantic Ocean allowing spacecraft to b launched away from populated areas.

Passengers will be flown six miles (10km) above the Earth, from there the shuttle would detach from the plane and travl up to 60 miles farther into space before returning to Earth. The spacecraft will have enough room for up to six people.

The group plans to operate much like an airline, reusing the spacecraft for each journey.  Once the trials bbegin, Loretan said, the company will work as fast as possible to start sending tourists into space. “But it depends on certification and on a lot of factors out of our control”.

Ticket prices have yet to be finalised, but Loretan said the aim was to make them as cheap as possible.

No word yet on baggage allowance ut the fact that it will all be weighless means that there should be no excess  baggage surely ??

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