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Photograph: Virgin Galactic

You’ll soon be able to fly from the UK to Australia in less than two hours

Suborbital flights that travel between London and Sydney via space will be made possible within the next ten years

Beril Naz Hassan
Written by
Beril Naz Hassan

Currently, travelling between the UK and Australia requires careful consideration and lots of planning ahead given its near-24-hour length (including a stopover in the middle). Many think the flight there and back will only be worth the hassle if they manage to spare weeks aside for the trip, which is a hard-to-come-by privilege.

Qantas recently revealed that it will launch direct flights between London and Sydney in 2025, cutting the journey length to 20 hours. But let's be honest, that’s still not a walk in the park. Thankfully, we might only have to put up with it for another decade before suborbital flights revolutionise our transportation. 

An ambitious plan to fly travellers across the world via space would see the flight time between the UK and Australia drop to a mere two hours. The flights would enter space for a period of time before descending back into the Earth’s orbit – slashing a good 20 hours of flying time in the process.

To make the vision a reality, aviation experts at the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are hard at work, studying how passengers would cope with suborbital long-haul trips. According to The Times, the CAA has found that most people are able to cope with the G-forces of a suborbital space flight. They concluded that some could experience ‘physiological responses’ but added that these would ‘likely be benign for most passengers’.

Suborbital flights are currently available in a limited capacity. For instance, Virgin Galactic offers customers the opportunity to head into space for £350,000 per seat. But, the CAA believe that they will become an affordable method of transport in the next decade. The CAA’s medical lead for space flights, Dr Ryan Anderton said that the concept is ‘definitely not science fiction’, adding that it will happen in ‘less than 10 years’.

The news follows plans announced by Venus Aerospace to create hypersonic jets that will take passengers from New York to Tokyo in an hour. And that news followed China’s Space Transportation’s ambitious plans to build a jet that can carry passengers from NYC to Shanghai in two hours. Is it just us, or are we living in the future?

Did you read about the space balloons that will cruise the Earth's stratosphere?

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