A crowd of journalists, future astronauts, and designers gathered outside the Virgin Galactic Spaceport America yesterday. Sir Richard Branson and Buzz Aldrin were on hand to christen the new facility.
Get your checkbooks ready: Virgin Galactic made its first successful attempt at a manned free flight over the weekend, paving the way for commercial space flights in the future. In a test run performed on Sunday, the SpaceShipTwo was successfully released from its "mothership" at 45,000 feet, and afterward, glided safely back to Earth. So far, it's a milestone in the Virgin Galactic test program since it's the first time the actual passenger vessel has flown on its own.
Commercial passenger flights to space may still be a ways off (especially since the futuristic Space Port in which Virgin Galactic will launch isn't nearly ready for action), but so far over 300 people have put down deposits to secure a seat on the spacecraft, including celebs like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Tickets will set you back $200,000, so most of us will have to keep dreaming of our moment in space.
Image courtesy of Virgin Galactic
It's one thing to explore the stars with your feet planted firmly on the ground, yet it's a totally different ball game to see them up close from the comfort of a spaceship. Virgin Galactic has long been the front-runner in consumer space exploration, but now it seems that Boeing is getting in on the star tour action with its own commercial space capsule that is aiming to get passengers into space by 2015.
Sure, the cost of a trip on both of these spacecrafts is sky-high (ranging from $200,000 to up to $40 million), but if cost weren't an issue, would you sign up to take a tour through space?
Source: Twitter user Astro_Soichi
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- Steve Jobs has finally addressed his health with a reporter, stating that he was sick during his keynote speech at WWDC 2008, but that his cancer has not returned. — MacRumors
- If you like Pandora and you have an iPhone, you'll be happy to know that the Pandora app just received an upgrade, so you can now get streamed music to your earbuds over WiFi. — Gizmodo
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- Last day! Be sure to log in for your chance to win a new iPhone 3G by Apple! — geeksugar
Starting this Summer, customers will finally be able to go the distance (literally) and hop on board the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo for its very first test flights. "Customers will have a two-hour flight, go up to 70 miles above the Earth and experience amazing views of the planet, G forces, and weightlessness after a three-day training program," said a spokesperson from Virgin Galactic.
And not only that, but Sir Richard Branson will officiate a wedding ceremony 70 miles above the Earth on SpaceShipTwo. As adventurous and daring it may be to exchange nuptials in midair, a ticket for this flight is said to cost around $200,000 . . . hmm, new house or zero-gravity wedding? Tough call!
The Science Museum in London has opened its doors to tourists who want to explore the prototype cabin of the Virgin Galactic spaceship. Virgin Galactic is hoping to make space travel a possibility for all human kind with this luxury spacecraft which carries six passengers and two pilots. In a few months space travel as tourism will become a reality for those who can afford the $200,000 price tag for a week of flight training and a two hour trip. Celebs like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Robbie Williams have apparently booked their seats on this new age spaceship in advance.
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