The European venture to create a room jet for fare-paying passengers is still really much alive, says EADS Astrium.
The aircraft, which would make quick hops above the atmosphere, was introduced in 2007 and then almost immediately set on maintain because of the world-wide downturn.
But Astrium, Europe's greatest room business, says internal development function continues and it is going to spend a further 10m euros (£9m) on the principle in 2011.
"We preserve the investment going," explained Astrium CEO François Auque.
"We continue to mature the principle, maintaining the minimal crew, in order that when we come across the appropriate partnership we are prepared and also have progressed sufficiently," he instructed reporters on Wednesday with the company's rocket production facility at Les Mureaux just north of Paris.
The Astrium motor vehicle will be about the size of a enterprise jet and would get off from a common runway, utilizing standard aircraft engines to climb to about 12km. It would then ignite a liquid oxygen-methane rocket to push the motor vehicle to about 100km.
At this altitude, the 5 passengers onboard could experience a few minutes of weightlessness ahead of strapping themselves back in their seats for that return flight to the floor.
Astrium has done substantial function by now on the Romeo rocket engine that might electrical power the climb to room, and wind tunnel testing has proven the aerodynamic form.
What is presently lacking will be the investment of a spouse that might move the venture from principle to manufacturing.
"As you realize, we had discussions within the Gulf ahead of there was a alter within the fiscal situation. Now we've other discussions in other areas of your planet and I'm really optimistic," explained Mr Auque.
Far more innovative is British billionaire Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic venture. This will use an American rocket aircraft produced by California's Scaled Composites business to deliver fare-paying passengers on sub-orbital trips.
Enterprise, as this rocket aircraft is acknowledged, is by now constructed and conducting glide exams. It is expected Enterprise will fire its rocket motor and make demonstration flights above the atmosphere later this 12 months.
Mr Auque was speaking with the annual New Year press conference of your European Aeronautic Defence and Room (EADS) group. Furthermore to possessing the Astrium satellite and rocket concern, EADS also owns the airline manufacturer Airbus.