The Astrium design would take off and land like a typical aeroplane, but at an altitude of about 12 kilometres, it would ignite rocket engines. It would take about a minute and a half to reach a height of 60 km, and then its rocket engines would be shut down and it would coast to an altitude of more than 100 km.200 to 270 grand for a trip into space might seem exorbitant, but that's pocket change compared to the $25 million U.S. space tourist Charles Simonyi paid for his trip aboard the Russian rocket Soyuz in April. EADS Astrium certainly believes its service will be successful—the firm expects to fly 15,000 people into space every year by 2020.
Small rocket thrusters would be used to control the craft's orientation in space, and once it had descended back into the Earth's atmosphere, its jet engines would once again be used for the landing. The whole trip would last about an hour and a half.