airliners in low earth orbit

From: (William Naylor)
Organization: Canon Information Systems Research Australia
Date:         22 Jan 93 02:59:49 PST
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I have heard it suggested that long distance air travel could eventually
be done by airliners which fly in low earth orbit.  Flying in low earth
orbit could reduce travel time and reduce fuel consumption.

I know almost nothing about this and I was hoping some of you could
enlighten me.  Particularly, I would like to know:

  1)  What are the difficulties and advantages of flying in low earth orbit?

  2)  How much research has been done/is being done?

  3)  What is the status of the research?

Please e-mail replies to me; I'll post a summary.


Will Naylor               net:
                          mail: Canon Information Systems Research Australia  
phone: (61-2) 805-2921          P.O. Box 313 North Ryde, NSW 2113 
fax:   (61-2) 805-2929          Australia