1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Bennett with capsule
Starchaser Industries  /  AP
Starchaser's chief executive, Steve Bennett, leans against a prototype of his company's space capsule near Las Cruces, N.M.
updated 1/15/2007 11:20:42 PM ET 2007-01-16T04:20:42

Starchaser Industries has received a $200,000 contract from the European Space Agency to submit an analysis of the proposed Thunderstar Starchaser 5 rocket and to develop a business plan on the sustainability of space tourism.

Starchaser spokeswoman Kimmarie Hartley said Monday that the report will explain the company's design for the rocket's capsule in a way that complies with ESA requirements.

"It's a step-by-step verification of our engineering designs," she said.

The contract is part of the ESA's effort to identify privately funded vehicles for human space flight, the company said in a news release.

Starchaser chief executive Steve Bennett said the ESA survey reflects a growing worldwide interest in space tourism and commercially funded space travel. "Investors are looking for the next frontier of profitability and space tourism is getting a lot of attention," Bennett said.

The co company, which has offices in Britain as well as New Mexico, hopes to one day construct a 120-acre "Rocket City" in the desert west of Las Cruces. It would feature rocket production buildings and astronaut training facilities.

The company envisions launches from the New Mexico spaceport north of Las Cruces as early as 2009. The rocket would carry one pilot and two passengers on suborbital spaceflights, then the capsule would return by parachute.

Customers could keep the spacesuit "as a memento of their experience," the company said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Get ready for today’s big reveal: Relive 20 years of Halloween on TODAY

    No one does Halloween like TODAY. Remember two decades of awesome on the plaza as we rev up for 2014’s plaza bonanza.

    10/23/2014 5:43:31 PM +00:00 2014-10-23T17:43:31
  2. video Celebs guess: Who will TODAY be for Halloween 2014?

    video Bob Harper, Russell Brand, Padma Lakshmi, William Shatner and more celebrities guess (and suggest!) what the anchors should be for the 2014 TODAY Halloween celebration on the plaza.

    10/30/2014 7:32:19 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T19:32:19
  3. Getty Images, AP, TODAY
  1. Street HarassmentVideo via YouTu

    ICYMI: Viral video shows woman harassed more than 100 times in 10-hour span

    10/28/2014 11:08:35 PM +00:00 2014-10-28T23:08:35