Elon Musk has revealed proposals for one of his most ambitious projects to date – intercontinental rocket flights for passengers that will take under half an hour.
Long-haul flights in a rocket could soon make plane travel on Earth virtually obsolete, an investment firm suggests.
A trip from London to New York would only take 29 minutes and less than one hour to Sydney on Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship.
Getting from point-to-point on Earth by traveling through outer-space could ‘cannibalize’ the current market for journeys lasting over 10 hours.
The company also claims that the space tourism industry will be worth £2.3 billion ($3bn) by 2030.
In the not-too-distant future, rocket flights which blast passengers briefly through space will start to replace long-haul flights, analysts have predicted. UBS predicts that by 2030, the market for high-speed travel via space will be worth at least $20 billion – and will seriously compete with long haul flights.
The analysts pointed to plans from Elon Musk’s Space X to use the Starship rocket to fly up to 100 people from New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes – or London to New York in 29.
The analyst firm predicts that long-haul flights over 10 hours will be ‘cannibalised’ by point-to-point rocket travel.
UBS analysts Jarrod Castle and Myles Walton wrote, ‘While space tourism is still at a nascent phase, we think that as technology becomes proven, and the cost falls due to technology and competition, space tourism will become more mainstream.
The future of long-distance air travel on earth will feature rockets entering the upper atmosphere before returning to Earth, said the financial experts.
Such high-speed travel via outer space’ represents a very lucrative market for the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, who are competing in a space tourism race.
For longer haul flights such as London to Sydney, which can currently take 23 hours, a rocket would take less than an hour.
Analysts predict that the wider space industry, which is currently worth around £300 billion ($400bn) billion today will rise to £610 billion ($805bn) by 2030.
The race to be the first company to send passengers to space is being fought between Virgin Galactic’s Sir Richard Branson, SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
UBS predicts that the market is huge even if a small percentage of passengers on the turn to rocket travel to get from point to point.