A new report by Swiss investment bank UBS predicts that soon high speed travel through the near reaches of space will come to compete with long-haul airline flights.
UBS analysts estimate that space tourism alone will become a $3 billion market by 2030, while the space industry as a whole will double in worth from $400 billion today to $805 billion over the same period. And once we can spend a week of vacation in space, they ask, why not use the technology for Earth-bound long-distance travel?
“Space tourism could be the stepping stone for the development of long-haul travel on earth serviced by space,” wrote UBS analysts Jarrod Castle and Myles Walton in the report, as quoted by CNBC.
As more and more people are choosing to travel long distances, the analysts estimate that the market for space travel will grow as well. Reusable space rockets and their speed could increase the total volume of passengers.
“Given the length of long-haul commercial travel, and the rules around crewing and take-off and landing time slot restrictions at airports, we think a re-usable rocket (especially if not land-based) would have materially better utilisation rates than a commercial plane,” UBS said.
In May 2018, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed plans for “Starship” rocket that could one day ferry up to 100 passengers practically anywhere in the world in roughly an hour. The company also successfully completed a test flight of its Crew Dragon passenger spacecraft to the International Space Station earlier this year.
More on space travel: NASA Might Send Astronauts Around the Moon on Commercial Rocket