While maglev minivans and personal jetpacks are not exactly a part of our near-future transportation plans, here's an ambitious low-Earth orbit cargo vessel concept to bring space tourism one giant leap forward. Designed by Spanish transportation engineer Oscar Vinals, the GIGABay cargo spaceship comfortably hauls a trio of slick "Ceres G" sightseeing vehicles in its pressurized cargo bay, then ejects them out the tailgate via a unique Electro Magnetic Space Catapult after attaining an altitude of 13,000 meters.
Once airborne, the futuristic observation spaceships rocket up to a height of 115,000 meters for a few minutes of zero-gravity fun before gliding safely back to Earth. No notion of how much this elite space freight taxi and its three tagalongs would cost, but the ideas expressed seem intriguing.
Here's how the whole fantastic system works, according to Vinals:
1. The "GIGABay" loads on its special cargo bay, there are 3 Spaceships "Ceres G", one is at the launch pad and the other 2 subjected in a system similar to an industrial chain production, are located in the ceiling of the cargo bay. After launching the first vehicle "Ceres G", the system loads another vehicle on the catapult launch, until all three spaceships are launched.
2. The "GIGABay" takes off from any airport, reaches 13,000m of altitude, opens tailgates (remember that the "GIGABay" concept plane is equipped with a special system to control the pressure inside cargo bay) ... extends the EMSC System (Electro Magnetic Space Catapult) with a length of almost 50m (extended) of electro magnetic's rail with an angle of inclination of 20° with the horizontal plane from the fuselage's "GIGABay"; launches the "Ceres G" when it reaches an ejection speed of about 200km/h.
3. The vehicle "Ceres G" is ejected about 200km/h, when the air flow "hits" on the back side, thanks to its design is pushed, reaching a speed of more than 600km/h.
4. A few seconds later, the rocket engine is started and the Spaceship "Ceres G" is propelled to an altitude of 115,000m.
5. Space tourists can enjoy few minutes in Zero Gravity ... and after, thanks to 11 boosters, "Ceres G" puts the ship in the best path for a safe descent.
6. Thanks to a special "Ceres G" fuselage, this descends into a glide flight taking advantage of the airflow, redirecting it when intakes from the ducts over the fuselage and exit from the rear variables exhaust.
What do you think? Are you set to stare out your private porthole at the great beyond, or content to keep your feet on terra firma?