Two hours from Shanghai to New York. China joins supersonic flight

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Just two hours from Shanghai to China to New York City in America? It goes without saying when you are traveling in a hypersonic space plane. Lingkong Tianxing Teleport Company In the Chinese capital, Beijing, to make this a reality by developing an airplane to transport passengers that can pass through the air at a speed of one mile per second, which is equal to twice the speed of the Concorde aircraft.

The company released an ad that is an animated video showing passengers, without helmets or space suits, aboard a 12-seater spacecraft arranged in an aerodynamic delta hull, surrounded by two giant rockets.

The spacecraft shoots vertically in the sky, and when it reaches flight altitude, the spacecraft detaches from its boosters and then skids to the edge of space at a speed of 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) per hour, then descends vertically to its destination with the help of a tripod in a wheelchair.

According to the Space Transportation website, the company intends to launch the first test flight for suborbital space tourism in 2025, followed by “a full-scale global hypersonic flight by 2030”.

The initiative, if implemented, will embody China’s ambitions to enter potentially lucrative space tourism areas, and will include hypersonic point-to-point flights for business-class travelers. This initiative is supported by prominent players in the Chinese investment scene.

Last August, the project raised more than 300 million yuan ($ 47 million) in initial funding, which was overseen by the Industrial Investment Fund led by Matrix Partners China and the Shanghai Guosheng state group.

CNN has contacted Space Transportation for more comments regarding its launch plans, but has not yet received a response.

This is rocket science

In the current context of air competition, China’s opponents are the United States and Russia, while the disputed area is the stratosphere and the lower Earth orbit.

Shares are also high. According to the latest analysis by research and consulting firm Emergen Research, Global revenues from suborbital transport and space tourism are expected to grow, with a compound annual growth rate of 16.8%, and a market size of 423, 7 million. dollars in 2020, to $ 1.44 billion in 2028.

Spatial tourism is booming

Credit: Virgin Galactic

Currently, suborbital flights are considered an elusive way to move from point A to point B.

Space lovers always have new options to define their space flights, ranging from space balloons to high altitudes, lap-flying for weightless tests, and even space walking can be made possible not too long ago first.

However, no matter how many space tourism options interest experienced astronauts, ticket prices remain astronomical.

And in December, Grenada diplomat Justin Sun, founder of the Tron cryptocurrency-based digital platform, was bidding for a seat aboard a reusable New Shepard rocket. Blue Origin “.

The auction raised $ 28 million for the Blue Origin Club for the Future affiliate, which supports space charities with the goal of inspiring future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Sun and five companions will fly aboard the New Shepard spacecraft later this year.

For those on a more modest budget, Virgin Galactic offers 90-minute spaceflight, launched in the fourth quarter of this year, at $ 450,000 per person.

“The demand for space travel is huge and we are selling the seats faster than we had planned,” said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, in a statement. The company claims to have sold about 700 seats so far.

But with the rising cost of accessing space, the market is seen, at least for now, as the reserve of the richest people in the world.

“Space tourism is still an evolving area, and it’s largely owned by billionaires,” John H. Schmidt, global director of aerospace and defense industry at Accenture, told CNN.

He added, “While space tourism can thrive, it will take a long time before costs go down to reach a much wider audience than millionaires.”

China prepares for hypersonic passenger flights

Two hours from Shanghai to New York!  China joins supersonic aviation
Credit: Virgin Galactic

Within this scene also comes the role of China, which has a clear talent for identifying and formulating an expanded response to the opportunities offered by this new market and to lowering prices for consumers.

China is a major player in space, following a nationally sponsored guide that supports a range of initiatives, including satellite technology, landings on the Moon and Mars, interplanetary flights, and space exploration.

The objectives of the plans to boost the space economy include the high-speed transport of people, according to the State Council Information Office.

With the lucrative potential of space tourism, it is not surprising that China is increasing resources and facilities to advance the scale of its spacecraft proposal.

Feasibility of commercial hypersonic flights

But what about the wider horizons of spacecraft?

Passengers who are excited by the hypothesis of significantly reducing their travel time have an increasing number of pieces of evidence to support the hypersonic business trip. Last year, NASA published the results of two comprehensive and independent market studies on hypersonic commercial transportation.

The first study, produced by Deloitte, based on work backed by NASA, identified the ability of business to fly within a range of supersonic speeds and model business cases for the three basic sets of variables: Mach navigation number (2.0 up to 5.5), passenger capacity (20, 50 and 100) and range (between 2500 and 9000 nautical miles).

The study concluded that there is a sufficiently stable demand for high-speed transport and that this “demand is likely from regular air passenger transport through airline services, private jet operations, including charter services, cards of the aircraft and membership forms “.

The second NASA study, in which BryceTech and SAIC collaborated, created a design for future demand and commercial operations at speeds between Mach 2 and 7, and projected the achievement of premium air travel demand during 2060 and assessed the readiness of passengers of different income and wealth levels to pay in order to reduce flight time.

Time is of the essence

Two hours from Shanghai to New York!  China joins supersonic aviation
Credit: Reaction engines

Adam Dessel, president of Reactions Engines Inc. “The question is how many people are willing to pay the full first class fee per day among the thousands of people who are excited and are they willing to pay double that amount to go three or four times faster? I think that this report is important. “

Reaction Engines is a key player in the global hypersonic ecosystem with its SABER hydrogen engine. This engine is in a new class of propulsion engines for both high-speed aircraft and spacecraft, and is unique in terms of high-efficiency jet engine fuel efficiency for a rocket engine, and is designed for spacecraft that can take off. from the track at up to five times the speed of sound.

environmental sensitivities

Two hours from Shanghai to New York!  China joins supersonic aviation
Credit: Reaction engines

While the benefit of saving time on hypersonic flights is undeniable, there are many technical and regulatory barriers to this type of travel.

Market research by NASA identified a long list of obstacles to overcome, including sound noise restrictions when flying over populated areas, safety certification, emission concerns, and operating concerns at much higher altitudes where there is risk of radiation exposure.

In addition, there are challenges represented in the need to build spacecraft that use special materials to deal with the speed and thermal friction created by high-speed Mach. The pilot must then undergo special training to fly to the edge of space.

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