Swedish Company Aiming To Offer Commercial Two-Hour Flights Into Arctic Space

Space! The final frontier! Or so they say and mankind is intent on exploring it. If a Swedish company has its way, Richard Branson won’t be the only business up in the dark blue yonder. Spaceport Sweden was founded in 2007 and says it hopes to provide commercial flights from a small Arctic town into space within a decade.

The small town of Kiruna has flights to London and Tokyo now, but space would be a pretty big game changer, notes the AFP.

“We’re working on establishing commercial flights from Sweden to space for tourism and research, and to create a launching pad at the airport,” explained the company’s director from her office at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics.

Space tourists would get launched into space for a maximum of two hours on a spacecraft with between one and six passengers that’s still being tested, and looks like the love child of an airplane and a space shuttle. Anyone who dreams of floating through the air with the greatest of ease would get about five minutes of weightlessness during the flight.

So why Kiruna? The area is ideal for space travel, say proponents, because it’s so far north and wouldn’t have to deal with dense air traffic.

“Even if it’s too early to give any figures, market studies show there is potential for 14,000 travellers after 10 years of business,” the director added.

All in favor of naming the first spacecraft George Jetson, say “aye” (aye!).

Arctic town eyes future as gateway to space [AFP]