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Successful private rocket launch could mean space travel opportunities

Space1British travellers are one step closer to exploring space following the successful launch of a research rocket into the atmosphere.

The Skybolt 2 research rocket – which stands at 27 feet tall – was launched by Starchaser as part of their mission to send travellers to the edge of space at 333,000 feet.

Vital electronic systems and a parachute recovery system were tested during the launch, which resulted in the rocket returning safely to Earth.

According to Starchaser's Managing Director Steve Bennett, there are millions of people who would love to take a trip to outer space and he believes the successful test brings that closer to reality.

Through the company’s Educational Outreach Programme, the rocket will now tour schools up and down the country in the hope of inspiring thousands of youngsters.

Although the rocket has been designed to fly more than 100km to the edge of space, the test had a maximum altitude of 4,000 feet in order to ensure safe landing and avoid any issues with air traffic.

The next step will be to test the 12-meter rockets, which are much bigger and capable of carrying a person, and that is expected to take place in the next 18 months.

It has been more than 45 years since the last large rocket was launched in Britain, with the Prospero X-3 sent into space to study the effect of the space environment on our communication systems.

Three major companies, including Virgin Galactic, are currently carrying out tests for commercial space flight in the hope that it could become a reality by 2020.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic, has set the cost of flying 50 miles above the Earth’s surface at £175,000, whilst the price of a sub-orbital spaceflight aboard a Starchaser vehicle is £98,000 plus tax.

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your specialist travel insurance in advance 

Date Created: 13 September 2017

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