BRITS could soon fly halfway around the world in just two hours as part of radical plans to revolutionize international travel.
Long-haul flights could be shortened within the next decade by commercial flights across space to distant destinations.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority is funding studies into the physical effects of ‘suborbital’ flight – in which passengers are thrown briefly into space before landing at their destination in next to no time.
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are currently selling seats on suborbital flights for a staggering £350,000 each.
However, regulators believe that prices will soon come down and be available to all travelers.
dr Ryan Anderton, the CAA’s chief medical officer for space travel, said The times: “Point to point travel [via space] is definitely not science fiction, we are working on it.
“As far as I know, people knock on the door and ask for it. So [it will happen] much sooner than people think… Certainly less than ten years.”
Suborbital flights would cut the travel time of a trip from London to Sydney from around 22 hours to just two hours.
Research by King’s College London and the Royal Air Force found that passengers on these flights did not need to be particularly fit or young to withstand the physical effects.
During suborbital flight, G-forces can reach six times normal gravity, but would only last a few seconds during descent.
dr Anderton said most passengers would experience “benign” physical effects.
This comes amid plans to open a Michelin-starred restaurant on the “edge of space.”
While the view and food will be stunning, the experience will set you back a pretty penny.
Pre-booking tickets cost a whopping €10,000 per head, and booking the entire capsule costs €120,000.
Zephalto is currently selling “pre-reservation tickets” for upcoming voyages in a pressurized capsule called the Celeste, attached to a stratospheric balloon.
In the capsule, the guest rises to an altitude of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) in the sky.
This allows guests to watch the curvature of the earth and twinkling stars while dining in supreme luxury.
Celeste is designed to take six passengers and two pilots to its maximum altitude in just 90 minutes and at a speed of four meters per second.
The capsule will then hover over the Earth for three hours, giving Earth’s high-flyers time to enjoy a multi-course meal.