A Chinese aerospace firm, Space Transportation, is building a supersonic hybrid of an aircraft and a rocket that can travel from Beijing to New York in an hour. This masterpiece of a jet is said to travel at about 2,600 miles per hour.
The creator of this incredible jet said, “What we are developing is a rocket with wings, which can achieve high-speed point-to-point transportation, which is lower cost than rockets that carry satellites, and faster than traditional planes.”
If everything goes as planned, this jet could be a milestone in the small but emerging space tourism industry. Reports from Space.com say that it can also be used as a business jet.
On Space Transportation's website, you can see the CGI presentation of passengers boarding the flight with a glider wing consisting of two rocket boosters. The jet is then launched straight into the sky, and the boosters fall off into the launch pad after a few seconds. These rocket boosters can be used for launching the next jet.
The company raised $46.3 million for manufacturing this supersonic jet in August 2021. It hopes to conduct the ground tests of the supersonic jet by 2023, the first test flight by 2024, and the first crewed test flight in 2025.
Space Transportation isn’t the only company looking into enhancing space tourism. Virgin Galactic sent its CEO Sir Richard Branson on a sub-orbital flight last year, pioneering space tourism.
Similarly, SpaceX introduced a program identical to Space Transportation's supersonic jet. This program was repurposed to “Earth to Earth” from its "BFR". It aims to transport passengers from one city to another via Starship rockets.