Right now, space tourism is just for the ultra-rich. But this experimental design for a cargo plane full of spaceships could make visits to low-Earth orbit part of everyday life.

Advertisement

I think what's most exciting is the idea that the cargo vessel shoots the spacecraft out of its bay using an "electro magnetic space catapult." Sounds like Golden Age science fiction updated for the 21st century. Let's get see the Earth from orbit, people! Astronomer Seth Shostak believes that space tourism could be the first step toward a space colony, so this idea isn't just about spending cash to zoom around the planet.

Advertisement

Transportation designer Oscar Viñals, who created these drawings, describes what you're seeing:

1. The "GIGABay" loads on its special cargo bay, there are 3 Spaceships "Ceres G", one is at the launch pad and the other 2 subjected in a system similar to an industrial chain production, are located in the ceiling of the cargo bay. After launching the first vehicle "Ceres G", the system loads another vehicle on the catapult launch, until all three spaceships are launched.

2. The "GIGABay" takes off from any airport, reaches 13,000m of altitude, opens tailgates (remember that the "GIGABay" concept plane is equipped with a special system to control the pressure inside cargo bay)… extends the EMSC System (Electro Magnetic Space Catapult) with a length of almost 50m (extended) of electro magnetic's rail with an angle of inclination of 20° with the horizontal plane from the fuselage's "GIGABay"; launches the "Ceres G" when it reaches an ejection speed of about 200km/h.

3. The vehicle "Ceres G" is ejected about 200km/h, when the air flow "hits" on the back side, thanks to its design is pushed, reaching a speed of more than 600km/h.

Advertisement

4. A few seconds later, the rocket engine is started and the Spaceship "Ceres G" is propelled to an altitude of 115,000m.

5. Space tourists can enjoy few minutes in Zero Gravity … and after, thanks to 11 boosters, "Ceres G" puts the ship in the best path for a safe descent.

6. Thanks to a special designed "Ceres G" fuselage, this descends into a glide flight taking advantage of the airflow, redirecting it when intakes from the ducts over the fuselage and exit from the rear variables exhaust.

Advertisement

See more on Tuvie