Virgin Galactic: Let the journey begin
Hello, this is Stan. John is away at the moment and has given me the key to his blog site. He also said that he left me food for the trolls. I’m not sure what he meant by that…
I decided to share something other than politics in this post. I saw something really cool and thought you might want to see it too!
British entrepreneur Richard Branson said that his Virgin company plans to launch commercial space flights over the next few years.
The Virgin transport, entertainment and communications group has signed an agreement with pioneering aviation designer Burt Rutan to build an aircraft based on Rutan's SpaceShipOne vessel.
SpaceShipOne cracked the barrier to manned commercial space flight in June by flying 62 miles above Earth, just a little more than 400 feet above the distance scientists widely consider to be the boundary of space. The flight lasted 90 minutes.
SpaceShipOne's effort was bankrolled by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Virgin said its agreement to license technology from Allen's company, Mohave Aerospace Ventures, could be worth up to $25 million, over the next 15 years, depending on the number of spaceships built by Virgin. The company said it planned to begin construction of the first vessel, VSS Enterprise, next year.
"Virgin has been in talks with Paul Allen and Bert throughout this year and in the early hours of Saturday signed a historical deal to license SpaceShipOne's technology to build the world's first private spaceship to go into commercial operating service," Branson told a news conference.
The new service will be called Virgin Galactic and expects to fly 3,000 new astronauts within five years. Fares will start at $208,000, for a suborbital flight, including three days' training. Branson said the business would "allow every country in the world to have their own astronauts rather than the privileged few."
"Virgin Galactic will be run as a business, but a business with the sole purpose of making space travel more and more affordable," Branson said. "Those privileged space pioneers who can afford to take our first flights will not only have the most awesome experience of their lives, but by stepping up to the plate first they will bring the dream of space travel for many millions closer to reality."
You should view the flash video below. You have to watch a commercial first, but it is well worth it! Turn the speakers on also. I haven’t figured out if the video is real or simulated. I think it’s some of both. Virgin Galactic video