There is something more than a little disconcerting about the thought of anyone and everyone being able to own a spacecraft. Sure being able to travel into space at will would be cool, but the thought of my idiot neighbor trying to launch a spaceship is crazy.
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Hermes Spacecraft is looking to do just that -- make space travel on a personal space shuttle accessible to everyone. The first flight to of an unmanned Hermes spacecraft and will be in October at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The October flight will be tethered.
If the tethered flight is successful, Hermes will be fitted with an engine pack and flown like an airplane via a remote cockpit. For the remote flight Hermes will be towed to 113,000 feet by a high-altitude helium balloon and then flown back to earth. Eventually the makers of the Hermes spacecraft hope to be able to offer a personal space shuttle for about the price of a new car.
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Via Hermes Space