14 June 2007
Announcements - Vehicles (Good)
EADS Spaceplane Announced
EADS branches out into space
by Carol Pinchefsky
European aerospace company EADS Astrium, a branch of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, has announced it will be developing a 1-stage, 4-person spaceplane. Flights should achieve 3 minutes of weightlessness and could be available in 2012.

EADS builds the Ariane rocket, an expendable launch vehicle designed to put satellites in space. However, the space tourism industry is too lucrative to ignore. According to a CNN article, "We are counting on some 20,000 space tourists by the year 2020," says Francois Auque, CEO of EADS space activities.

Flights are estimated to cost passengers between US$199,000 to US$265,000. With an estimated 20,000 passengers, this means EADS could potentially earn US$5 billion from space tourism.

The model of this currently unnamed spaceplane is currently on display in Paris.
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Carol Pinchefsky 14 June 2007
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