European technology firm Astrium is teaming up with US company Alliant to make a "low-cost" space rocket launcher that could one day take tourists into orbit, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
It said the companies plan a 300-foot (91-metre) launcher dubbed "Liberty" to take astronauts and scientific payloads into space for about $180 million (132 million euros) a time, 40 percent cheaper than some current launches.
The newspaper said the project's backers hope to gain funding from US space agency NASA for the project, which they say could lead eventually to commercial projects such as orbiting hotels for space tourists.
Best part? Filthy capitalistic consumerism succeeds where high-minded "scientific" socialism fails horribly. Liberals are going to freak. I'm going to love watching them.
Update update: It must be rocket day today, here's an announcement that SpaceX has a moon rocket, and a ride booked. Private moonshot by 2013? Wowser!
Time will tell if Neil Stephenson is right or I am of course, because an announcement is not the same as a successful launch, but things are looking up for space travel. Yay!