Select Committee on Trade and Industry Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by WildWings Worldwide Travel

  I am the founder and managing director of WildWings, a specialist travel company based in Bristol. We are the sole UK agents for Space Adventures, US based, the world's first space tour operator. They currently have agreements with five companies intending to build spaceplanes for passenger use. Four of these companies are US (none funded by NASA), the other is Bristol Spaceplane's Ascender.

  Our estimate of the market for sub-orbital passenger flights is there are at least 200,000 people worldwide who would pay $100,000 for a short flight into space, a potential market of at least $20 billion /£12.75 billion. We already have over 200 passengers booked worldwide.

  The first companies to have suitable vehicles flying will open this huge market. In my opinion Ascender is the most promising design to capitalise on this potential and it would be a great shame to lose this new space race to the Americans when the UK clearly has a potential worldbeater on its hands.

  UK space policy should be encouraging projects like Ascender.

22 February 2000

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