Gallery: SpaceLiner Will Zoom from Europe to Australia in 90 Minutes Fl...


Researchers at the German Aerospace Center are developing a hypersonic “SpaceLiner” that would zip half way around the world in 90 minutes flat. The 50-passenger airplane would piggyback off of a rocket to reach speeds of about 24 times the speed of sound. The super-fast SpaceLiner is hoped to propel passengers into the future by 2050, and it would be partially powered on liquid oxygen and hydrogen, leaving only a trail of water vapor and hydrogen in the atmosphere.

With a rocket as its carrier, the commercial SpaceLiner would be launched into the Earth’s upper atmosphere, in order to reach optimal speeds without disturbing regular air traffic. Passengers would zoom through space at speeds as fast as 24 times the speed of sound, then slow down to regular airplane speeds before landing.

The whole trip would be in two stages, beginning with a rocket booster launch, which would last around eight minutes. After a height of 50 miles is reached, the slower, orbiter stage would carry passengers out to their destination, at around 15,000 mph. The SpaceLiner would function more like a second-generation space shuttle than a traditional plane, and travel on it would likely come at space shuttle pricing.

The design and shape of the passenger carrier is still being tested and designed, but once researchers find a shape that can withstand the heat created by hypersonic speeds, the project will begin looking for investors.

Via Scientific American


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Tamer Selmy February 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

    This is only the begining.

  2. Nick Thompson February 5, 2013 at 12:24 am

    def not a regular passenger flight vehicle unless its strictly space tourism. Fuel costs on something like this would have be astronomical… I don’t really see much of a need this, hope they at least use some some green rocket fuel.

  3. sorenzen January 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    For a space turism prospect it seams good, but for a passenger travel destination to destination the upright rocket launch will not work – somehow to difficult and inaccessible.

  4. robert bierma January 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    They should go back to the drawing board. Space Shuttle style designs have to many inefficiencies to overcome.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home