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Render of futuristic Virgin Galactic flight
Photograph: Virgin Galactic

Welcome to the space age: two-hour flights between Australia and the UK could soon be a reality

A cheeky weekend trip to London aboard a suborbital space flight? We like the sound of that

Maya Skidmore
Leah Glynn
Written by
Maya Skidmore
Leah Glynn

There's a lot we love about visiting London: going for a ride on a double deck bus, enjoying a traditional Sunday roast with all the trimmings at a cute little pub and spotting squirrels in Hyde Park. The worst part? The soul-destroying, almost 24-hour plane journey to get there. Well, what if we told you that could be a thing of the past?

Welcome to the future, folks. A ground-breaking new plan to cut the travel time between the UK and Australia to just two hours by flying via space (yes, you heard that right – space) has just arrived on the aviation scene – and it could become a legitimate reality for travellers in as little as ten years time. 

Suborbital flights are a cutting-edge transport revolution that work by taking travellers up into space for a period of time, and then dropping suddenly back into the Earth’s orbit. For people making the huge globe-crossing trek between the UK and the land Down Under, this technology would mean slashing a wild 20 hours off the travel time – and would probably change the world in the process.

This isn’t just a science fiction plot line, either. The UK Civil Aviation Authority is currently in the process of hard testing to see how people would respond to being on a long-haul suborbital trip, with the findings currently being that most should be able to cope with the ‘G-forces’ of a space flight.

Suborbital flights currently exist (believe it or not) – but admittedly, there's not a lot of them. Virgin Galactic is operating flights into space that cost £350,000 ($655,327 AUD) per seat, while Venus Aerospace has announced the plan for a hypersonic jet that will take people from Tokyo to New York in one hour. On top of that, China’s Space Transportation is currently building a jet that will speed people from NYC to Shanghai in two hours. 

Plus, with Qantas having already dropped definite plans to fly directly from Sydney to London in 2025, it’s likely that this new wave of transport will be arriving in town sooner than we all think. 

Is this the space age? We think so.

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