Sunday, September 25, 2022

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China shares plans for space tourism travel from 2025

China could launch commercial rockets for space tourism by 2025, one of the country’s top space experts has said.

Speaking to state media on world timesYang Yiqiang, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Aerospace Flight Science and Technology Center, said China has entered a new era of spaceflight and will begin “suborbital travel” for tourists in 2025 at a cost. 2 to 3 million yuan ($285,000 to $428,000) per person.

Yiqiang also compared China’s space industry to that of the United States, and said he expects the country “to catch up with the level of development of the United States within 10 years.”

The commercial space industry in the United States has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past decade with the rise of companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, all of which have branched out into space tourism.

As of August 4, Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard rocket has carried a total of 32 passengers into space, with customers including company owner Jeff Bezos as well as actor William Shatner and former soccer player Michael Strahan.

Similarly, SpaceX launched the Inspiration4 mission in September 2021 which saw four civilians spend more than two days in orbit around Earth as part of a charity effort.

Space tourism is still a fledgling industry with limited access to the outdoors except for the wealthy – a seat on Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity space plane costs around $450,000. Still, it might become more accessible in the future.

Yiqiang said there could be many options for space tourists in China over the next few years, including suborbital rocket launches, a space plane similar to Virgin Galactic and even the ability for tourists to visit the station. space – although Yiqiang said it would have “strict requirements on the physical and psychological quality of tourists.

“With the improvement of the business model, China is expected to start suborbital travel in 2025, with a fare of around 2 to 3 million yuan,” he said.

The other side of the commercial space industry is made up of private companies offering rocket launches to paying customers. Satellite operators, NASA and the US military have all been SpaceX customers, with the company’s reusable self-landing Falcon 9 rocket providing a relatively inexpensive route to orbit.

Yiqiang said he expects China to reach “the ‘springtime’ of commercial aerospace” by 2027, which would be characterized by a large-scale satellite constellation, frequent rocket launches and the recovery and reuse of inexpensive liquid-fueled rockets. Currently, rocket launches in China tend to involve single-use launchers.

“Although China’s commercial aerospace started late, its development trend is booming and in full swing, boosted by political support, capital blessing and market demand,” Yiqiang said.

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