Space tourism is ready for takeoff

Video: The Lynx rocket can blast passengers into suborbit within a few minutes.

Xcor Aerospace
An artist's rendition of the Lynx rocket reaching suborbit. Normally, the engine would be turned off that this point and momentum would carry the craft into outer space.
Click here for the full graphic. (MCT ©2008)

Wanna see outer space? The round trip will only take 30 minutes.

Xcor Aerospace is counting down to 2010 for the launch of its Lynx rocket ship. The two-seater tourist plane will blast toward the sky at 1,500 miles per hour. The pilot cuts the engines three minutes in and lets momentum carry the Lynx to its peak altitude of 200,000 feet – commercial jets top out around 30,000 feet. Drifting for a moment, the passenger can see the blue curve of Earth’s atmosphere fade into the black void of space. Then, gravity tugs the plane back toward reentry.

While only meant for one passenger, the Lynx can take off several times a day, Xcor says. There’s no price tag yet. But hopefully, tickets for the “Greatest Ride Off Earth” won’t be as astronomical as the journey.

Click below for Xcor's promotional animation video.

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