Long-haul travel via space could soon be a market worth £15 billion a year and will have “cannibalised” the market for flights of ten hours or more, it is being claimed.
Analysts from Swiss bank UBS suggest that spaceships will be flying passengers from New York to Shanghai in half an hour.
They also believe that the space tourism industry will be worth £2.3 billion by 2030, and that chains such as Hilton and Marriott will be running orbiting hotels in space stations.
UBS believes that the billions being invested in private space companies suggest that space travel will soon become “mainstream as the technology becomes proven and cost falls,” The Times reported.
Jarrod Castle and Myles Walton, analysts with UBS, said: “Although some might view the potential to use space to service the long-haul travel market as science fiction, we think there is a large market.”
Much of the advance in space travel is being led by Elon Musk and SpaceX, Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.
UBS said that SpaceX had plans to fly up to 100 people at a time around the world within minutes using the company’s reusable Starship rocket.
SpaceX has said that passengers would take a boat to a launch pad in the sea and leave the earth’s atmosphere from there.
The rocket would fly passengers from New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes, rather than the 15 hours it takes now, New York to London in 29 minutes, and Sydney to London in 51 minutes.
UBS said that more than 150 million passengers a year took flights lasting longer than ten hours at present.
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