Passenger rockets ‘to blast customers from New York to London in 29 minutes’

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Elon Musk’s Starship will begin testing soon (Getty)

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.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard takes off during the Demo-1 mission (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

‘Space tourism could be the stepping stone for the development of long-haul travel on earth serviced by space.’

NASA is also investigating a ‘quiet’ supersonic jet which could reignite supersonic travel.

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NASA has already conducted initial tests over the Texas Gulf Coast – with two FA-18 jets climbed to 55,000 feet and diving to replicate the ‘sonic thump’.

The Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) design could hit supersonic speeds over land – without people on the ground hearing a sonic boom.

NASA hopes that this will allow it to establish an ‘acceptable’ noise level – and overturn regulations banning supersonic travel over land.

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