Spanish start-up EOS-X Space has revealed ambitious plans to launch commercial operations from the emirate
Tourist flights into outer space could be departing from Dubai by the end of 2023, according to the CEO of EOS-X Space.
And Kemel Kharbachi, who has already had initial discussions with Dubai Tourism, told Arabian Business ambitious plans for the emirate include a 80 – 100 million Euros site to launch commercial operations as well as making the city the company’s global space hub.
He said: “This is the democratisation of space travel. In the next decade it will be more affordable and we will be there for that.”
The Spanish start-up faces strong competition from the likes of UAE-backed Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX, who are all looking to break into space tourism.
However, instead of using rockets, EOS-X Space is promising to take people up in a pressurised capsule, capable of carrying five passengers and one crew member, propelled by a helium balloon, which will rise to an altitude of 40km.
And Kharbachi is aiming to take 10,000 into space before 2030.
Kemel Kharbachi, CEO of EOS-X Space Image: @eosxspace
He said: “In this decade, from 2021 to 2030, this is the decade where we will start this new service of space tourism.”
The capsule is similar to the one used by Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner, who jumped to earth from the stratosphere in October 2012 as part of the Red Bull Stratos project.
“When he was standing out of the capsule ready to jump, he was at 39km of altitude. The view that you see in the video is the view that the passengers and the crew of the EOX will enjoy, which is superb,” said Kharbachi.
“This altitude allows the passengers to have the views of the earth’s curvature, the blackness of space, the blue halo of space as well. While being above 99.9 percent of the atmosphere,” he added.
There is no space suit required for the flight, which involves a two-hour ascent phase and an-hour-and-a-half at cruise altitude, before returning back to earth.
All for the princely sum of around $150,000 – considerably cheaper than the $20 million paid by American engineer and entrepreneur Dennis Tito in 2001 when he became the first tourist to fund his own trip into space.
Kharbachi said: “These tickets, it is not like a passenger ticket in a flight, where you have to be at the airport two hours before, then you do the check-in, you get in the plane and you fly. Here what we’re offering is a full-week experience. We want our passengers to arrive at least five days before the flight so that not only they will get the training, but they will get an immersive experience of outer space and space travel.”
Although launch centres are also planned in southern Spain, the US and Asia, Kharbachi is hoping the space hub – similar to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida - can be located in Dubai and is looking to partner with local companies to make this dream a reality.
He said: “This space hub will be a space experience centre. In this space hub we will have the training facilities and simulators that will be used by the passengers, but also it will be open to people who will not be taking the flights.”
Quelle: Arabian Business