EOS-X Space is a Spanish startup that plans to send people to space from the Middle East using helium-powered balloons. The startup has a base in Saudi Arabia and wants to establish a space hub in the UAE.
The company has sent an ambitious target of sending 10,000 people to space by 2030. It says it will first start sending people to space in summer 2021 and tickets will cost $150,000-200,000 per person.
This is the democratisation of space travel. In the next decade it will be more affordable and we will be there for that.Kemel Kharbachi, CEO of EOS-X Space
To get thrill-seeking tourists into space, the startup will use balloons powered by either helium or hydrogen. These balloons will lift a pressurized cabin 40 km to the edge of space, around 10 km higher than the cruising altitude of commercial aircraft.
The cabin will be able to carry five passengers and one crew member. In addition, it comes equipped with ergonomic seating, mood lighting, panoramic windows and even a lavatory.
Flights will last over four hours involving a two-hour ascent, one and a half hour cruise followed by a one-hour descent. During the flight, passengers will be able to see the curvature of the Earth while being above 99.9% of the atmosphere.
EOS-X Space says its space model is also environmentally-friendly. The balloons used to lift people into space are recyclable and it is powered by zero-emission fuels: helium or hydrogen.
EOS-X Space and the Middle East
Speaking to Arabian Business, Kemel Kharbachi, CEO of EOS-X Space, said, “this is the democratisation of space travel. In the next decade it will be more affordable and we will be there for that.”
“In this decade, from 2021 to 2030, this is the decade where we will start this new service of space tourism.” He added.
Kharbaci also told Arabian Business that EOS-X Space plans to build a €80-100 million site in Dubai to make the UAE the company’s global space hub.
“This space hub will be a space experience centre. In this space hub we will have the training facilities and simulators that will be used by the passengers, but also it will be open to people who will not be taking the flights,” he said.
Kharbaci says that flights could start taking people to space from the UAE as early as 2023.
In addition to the company’s bases in the United States, Spain and south-east Asia, EOS-X Space also a presence in Saudi Arabia.
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