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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Private US-EU joint venture plans cheap tourist space shuttle

• Terrence Aym
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, a high-tech EU company named Astrium plans to partner with the American firm Alliant Techsystems to develop a new "low-cost" rocket booster that could launch future space tourists into orbit. Astrium is the primary aerospace manufacturer of the highly successful commercial booster rocket Ariane used to launch satellite payloads into orbit. The EU company is a subsidiary of the defense company leviathan EADS; Alliant Techsystems makes space shuttles. Once the exclusive domain of the two superpowers—the U.s. and USSR—the space race has transmogrified into a commercial race between private firms eager to cash in on the potential billions to be made "out there."

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