...By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) are conducting ongoing research to examine the impact of suborbital space flights on the human body.
These flights, if successful, could significantly reduce travel times for long-haul journeys, such as a flight from the UK to Sydney, Australia, which currently takes 24 hours.
Experts anticipate that these flights could become a reality within the next decade.
However, medical studies are still underway to assess the effects on the average traveler.
Support for Suborbital Travel and Potential Benefits for Older Passengers
King’s College London is also involved in the study, alongside the CAA and the RAF.
Preliminary evidence suggests that the majority of people would be able to withstand the G-forces involved in suborbital travel.
Interestingly, researchers have found indications that older passengers may handle the physical strain better than younger individuals due to stiffer joints and a more resilient vascular system.
However, individuals with cardiac issues may face challenges.
Considerations for Physiological Responses and Potential Risks
Dr. Ryan Anderton, the CAA’s medical lead for flight, suggests that most passengers’ physiological responses to suborbital flights are likely to be benign.
He notes that older individuals may have slightly stiffer arteries, which could reduce the pooling of blood away from the brain.
However, further research is required to understand the full implications and risks.
Current Travel Times and Cost of Suborbital Flights
Presently, the fastest journey from London to Sydney takes around 22 hours, with airline Qantas aiming to introduce a direct route by 2025, reducing the travel time to 19 hours.
However, suborbital space flights would significantly surpass these timescales.
While the initial cost of a suborbital flight is expected to be around £350,000, experts anticipate that prices will decrease over time, making the flight path accessible to a wider range of travelers.
Conclusion: Suborbital Flights as the Future of Fast Long-Haul Travel
The published report highlights the availability of commercial suborbital space flights for tourism and scientific research.
These flights are seen as a stepping stone towards extremely rapid point-to-point travel, envisioning journeys like London to Sydney completed in less than two hours.
As research continues and technological advancements progress, suborbital flights could revolutionize long-haul travel, offering unprecedented speed and efficiency.