China is gearing up to make space tourism a reality by 2020

Image Courtesy:nytimes

Looks like Elon musc is not the only person looking to make space tourism a possibility. China is working on a spaceplane that can take people to the edge of space and they say that this will be made available as soon as 2020.

 The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Beijing has designed a spaceplane that can take up to 20 passengers close to 80 miles above earth. The ideas were presented at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico last month.

The spaceplane will reportedly be designed to take off vertically like a rocket, but land on a runway and will do so automatically without any ground or on-board intervention, according to Han Pengxin, lead  behind the project.

The team presented ideas two such vehicles –  a small vehicle that weighs 10 tonnes and has a wingspan of 19.6 feet that can transport up to 5 people to a height of 62 miles. The second one being 100-tonne version, with a 40 foot wingspan, could fly 20 people up to 80 miles above earth.

‘The test flights will be finished in the next two years, because almost all of the ground tests have been finished and all the subsystems of the test vehicle worked very well,’ Han Pengxin said.

Pengxin estimates that ride will cost between $200,000 (Rs. 13,319790) and $250,000 ( Rs. 16,649737).

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