Rocket Racing League Enters the Space Tourism Game

What, me worry? Amidst economic turmoil, a new plan to launch the wealthy into space is born

Global financial apocalypse be damned – the Rocket Racing League is investing in the space tourism business. Yes, the timing is a little strange, but today the RRL announced a partnership with the New Mexico state government and Armadillo Aerospace — the rocket engine company founded by Doom creator John Carmack that will also supply engines for the Rocket Racing League’s eponymous, um, racing league — to fly suborbital tourist flights from a spaceport outside Las Cruces.

Armadillo will provide the vehicles—vertical takeoff and launch craft based on a concept like the one you see here—and RRL will provide financing. The plan is to start flights in 2010. Granger Whitelaw, the Rocket Racing League’s CEO, is apparently betting that in a couple years there will still be plenty of people eager to spend $100,000 on a trip to the edge of space. Will he win that bet? We have absolutely no idea.