RAS AL KHAIMAH: Space Adventures, the only company to have sent tourists into space, has announced plans to develop a commercial spaceport in the UAE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
From the Ras Al Khaimah spaceport, the firm will operate suborbital flights, a newspaper report. The project will cost $265 million, officials said.
The Russian-built suborbital vehicle called Explorer will have the capacity to transport up to five people to an altitude of nearly 100km in space, but the project's schedule is yet to be announced.
The spaceport will be funded among others by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah and Space Adventures.
The Virginia-based company is also partnering Ras Al Khaimah to expand the spaceport project beyond UAE to other potential space toursim locations such as Singapore and the US.
The UAE spaceport, to be located less than an hour's drive from Dubai, already has commitments for $30m.
"I am proud to announce Ras Al Khaimah as the site where commercial suborbital travel will flourish," said Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler.
"As a leader in tourism, the UAE is the ideal location for the spaceport," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures.