Sending everyday people to space has been a dream since the days of the Apollo missions but space travel has long been out of reach for all but a select few humans in history.
However, space tourism is slowly coming closer to reality, with companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin closing in on taking short trips up to the edge of space and back.
But what if spaceships went farther — and faster?
A recent UBS report analyzed the market for what’s known as point-to-point space travel. It’s been touted by SpaceX as one of the business lines of the massive Starship rocket that Elon Musk’s company is developing.
In essence, point-to-point space travel would be the equivalent of flying on an airplane across the world — but in less than an hour, rather than 16 hours.
UBS believes that, if the obstacles to point-to-point space travel can be overcome, the service would represent an annual market of more than $20 billion.
But some disagree, saying the technology’s safety is nowhere close to being reliable or that the travel method doesn’t solve key logistical issues to long haul air travel.