UK’s first space tourism travel agency takes flight

The UK’s first travel agency dedicated to space tourism has launched.

London-based RocketBreaks was founded by Barry Shanks and David Doughty, who have more than 18 years’ experience in the private jet and helicopter industry.

The agency will offer a full service to prospective travellers, coordinating flights, accommodation, meals and space training programmes. Bespoke packages will include day trips into space, weightlessness experiences and holidays in space station hotels.

Future space tourists can sign up to RocketBreaks’ waiting list to be among the first to be contacted when bookings open.

“No question about it, space is the future for the travel industry,” said Doughty.

“We saw a gap in the market, and by entering early, we aim to grow RocketBreaks into one of the most respected agencies in the space travel world.

“We are certainly aware that there is plenty of excitement and demand to venture into space, be that on a day trip to experience weightlessness, to see the world in an entirely new way or to stay in space.”

Virgin Galactic is scheduled to begin commercial service in 2022, with founder Sir Richard Branson expected to take the first flight in late 2021. The company recently announced the development of more spacecraft alongside planned regular flights.

The first crewed space flight from Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin will also take off on July 20, kickstarting the company’s space tourism business.

An unnamed bidder paid $28 million to secure a seat on the New Shepard rocket alongside the Amazon founder and his brother.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s private spaceflight company, SpaceX, recently announced plans for a ‘fully reusable transport system’ named Starship, capable of carrying up to 100 people to Mars.

Luxury space hotel The Aurora Station is also currently being built and is scheduled to open in 2022. Developed to orbit the Earth, it will be able to accommodate four guests and two crew for 12-day holidays.

“As one of the pioneers in the field, we will be on the front line and able to respond in real time to the latest technological advances as they unfold,” said Shanks.

“Most importantly, we will translate those advances into the most exciting experiences for our customers, as and when they happen.”

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