Space flights as cheap as a trip to America 'within decades'

Exclusive: Astronaut tells T3 budget space travel is just a few years away

Although the dawn of space tourism is only just upon us, British astronaut Helen Sharman has suggested budget space flights will be available soon

As the likes of Virgin Galactic push new boundaries in space tourism, a former astronaut has told T3 space flights will soon be as cheap as a jaunt across the pond to America.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with T3 at the launch of the National Science and Engineering Week, Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, suggested that budget space travel is just a “few decades” away.

“I would imagine that space flights will be as common as taking a flight to America in a few decades,” Sharman, who visited the Mir Space Station back in 1991, said. “Flights to America are now so cheap that so many people can do that. Space flights will eventually be cheap enough.”

Still requiring expensive and at times dangerous propulsion methods to leave the earth and breach the divide in to space, Sharman has predicted that a technological breakthrough is all that it will take to turn daily, widely available space travel into a reality.

“All we need is one major step forward in a technology that instead of having to expend loads of fuel would allow us to get their much more simply,” she said. “Rather than a rocket we have other possibilities that mean we won’t always have to think like this. It just needs a major step change and then space is accessible much more quickly.”

Is the idea of space travel being as cheap and readily available as a transcontinental holiday one that interests you or are you happier keeping your feet on terra firma? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.