EADS, or the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, has said it can see a day when space travel becomes as routine as paying £17.99 to go via RyanAir to Amsterdam for a three-day stag-do.
“It will develop towards a classical aeronautical business model. Someone will build the planes; somebody will operate them; somebody will sell the tickets; somebody will provide the accommodation – like any tourism,” said Robert Laine, the chief technical officer of the rocket builder.
Here’s an entirely unrelated photograph of the space shuttle Endeavour in which you can clearly see an astronaut’s iPod through the window:
A division of EADS called Astrium, which currently makes the Ariane rocket, reckons it’ll be knocking about 10 “space planes” a year to sell to operators – and it’s prototype “space plane” (love typing SPACE PLANE!) is already being tested in the wind tunnel.
So hopefully, before we die, we’ll all get the chance to listen to our favourite rock mix as we hit escape velocity and worry about (a) dying in a fireball and (b) if the battery’s going to last the whole journey.