Maybe I got a little overzealous by saying “public” transportation because so few people would realistically be able to afford airfare of this kind. But if you’re a child of privilege then you’re in luck.
This model (as it is only a model) shows what aerospace engineers hope to accomplish by 2050. The idea is that this space liner launches as a rocket does into the outer reaches of the planet’s atmosphere. It reaches speeds equivalent to 24 times the speed of sound before gliding back to earth and her multitude of runways. This hypersonic flight can shuttle passenger to and from Europe and Australia in approximately one hour.
Now before I continue I will interject with my own quick opinion. How can anyone possibly know what is and is not possible 40 years from now? Earthlings still don’t have the technology to accurately predict the weather. Do you think 40 years ago, anyone knew what kind of crazy world we are living in now? I’m a skeptic, yes, but how far off the mark can I really be? Martin Sippet, the project coordinator for SpaceLiner at the German Aerospace Center said, [One of the challenges that still remains] is “finding the right shape for the vehicle.”
The rocket launch last 8 minutes and brings passengers to an altitude of about 47 to 50 miles (75 to 80 kilometers). That falls short of the 62-mile (100-km) boundary considered the edge of space, A suborbital flight would allow SpaceLiner to glide back to Earth at hypersonic speeds of more than 15,000 mph (25,200 kph).