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Virgin Galactic Wants to Fly You From London to Australia in 2.5 Hours

We already know about the space flight ambitions of Virgin Galactic, but the same kind of technology could be parlayed in far faster flights around the world too. This comes by way of Stephen Attenborough, the company’s commercial director and presumably the far less documentary-centric cousin of David.

At the Wired 2013 event in London, Attenborough said that if they “can get this first step right, take people into space and keep them safe in a commercially viable aircraft,” then they’d be able to “push long haul aviation” at some point in the future. You’d effectively blast into space, truck along with zero air resistance, and end up at your Earthbound destination in far less time.

Indeed, the flight between London and Australia could take as little as 2.5 hours. Compare that to a conventional commercial flight today, which would typically require a connection and would have a total flight time of nearly 24 hours. The claim that such a flight would be more eco-friendly — since the emissions are released outside of the Earth’s atmosphere — is dubious at best, since you would still have to get that rocket out of the atmosphere in the first place and that’s likely where you’d see the most emissions anyhow.

Yes, it will be very expensive, especially since the current Spaceship Two capsule only holds six passengers, but it could point toward the future of intercontinental travel. And you’d get a bonus space flight with a few minutes of zero gravity to boot.



About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. How much would 24 hours of a barristers time cost? There are considerations other than cost which would make such a flight useful.

  2. Just imagine that for your grandparents it took roughly a month, and you hardly could make a trip sitting onboard a single plane for all that time. Not to mention how horribly expensive it was.

    Suddenly 24 hour trip looks like a brilliant time-saver 😉

  3. Only for the upper class scum.

  4. been there wasted a day of my life each way wouldnt go again if it was just a walk across the road ****hole of a place

  5. …and humans can grow wings.

  6. not eco friendly for aliens

  7. but I don’t want to go to Australia!!!

  8. Emissions would eventually be pulled back in by gravity I would of thought?

  9. This is really cool, good to see advancements like this. The future is bright!

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