Skip to Content

Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.

Map of the world

The commercial space race heats up

Remember Virgin Galactic? It's Richard Branson's pet project to create the first ever commercial service to fly passengers into a lower orbit, tool around in zero gravity for a little while and float back to the surface. They teamed up with Scaled Composites, the group who built the spacecraft that won the Ansari X prize, to create SpaceShipTwo, which by 2009 should soon be able to carry six passengers and two pilots out into space. One ticket to 68 miles above sea level? $200,000.

It looks like they've also got some competition. Xcor, a California based aerospace company, revealed plans for a new sub-orbital aircraft earlier today dubbed the Lynx. It's significantly smaller than SpaceShipTwo and only able to accommodate one passenger plus one pilot, but it's a form factor that Xcor thinks will be better suitable to the market. Perhaps the fact that it takes off solo from an airstrip (opposed to the dual aircraft design of SpaceShipTwo) and only goes about half the altitude of its competitor will make it a less expensive flight.

It should be two years before the Lynx is off the ground, and Xcor has still to find a commercial partner to market and operate the flights. But with a little bit of extra competition in the market, maybe the galactic experience will soon be affordable to your average millionaire instead of your average billionaire.

Filed under: Airlines, News

Find Your Hotel

City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport code
If different

Search Travel Deals

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)

Add your comments

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.

To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.

Gadling Features

Most Popular


Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

Berlin's Abandoned Tempelhof Airport
The Junk Cars of Cleveland, New Mexico
United Airlines 787 Inaugural Flight
Ghosts of War: France
New Mexico's International Symposium Of Electronic Arts
Valley of Roses, Morocco
The Southern Road
United Dreamliner Interior
United Dreamliner Exterior

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Weird News


FOXNews Travel


Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel