China Plans to Send Tour Groups to Space by 2025

By William Lee, November 9, 2016

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On October 31, Chinese company ChinaRocket Ltd Co. unveiled a three step (roughly equivalent to one giant leap) plan to launch a commercial spaceflight program at an aerospace forum in Zhuhai. 

According to the company’s president Han Qingping, the first step will be to get a small 10 ton spacecraft in the air by 2020-2024. This vehicle will carry between three and five people at an altitude of 60-80km (37-50 miles) above the surface of the earth, allowing passengers to momentarily enjoy the feeling of weightlessness.

Secondly, the company aims to have a much larger 100 ton craft in the air by 2025-2029 that can carry 20 people to an altitude in the region of 120-140km. This is significantly more people than other commercial spaceflight firms currently plan to accommodate.

The final step is to build a 100 ton spaceplane with a passenger capacity of ten to 20 people that is capable of both reaching altitudes of 80-90km high for commercial space travel and performing intercontinental flights. 

People’s Daily reports that the commercial spaceflight industry in China is predicted to be worth RMB30 billion annually by 2020.

[Image via Daily Mail]

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