FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, September 27, 2004

Virgin to Pioneer Space Tourism

Virgin chief executive Sir Richard Branson has announced plans to expand into space tourism. Calling his new venture "Virgin Galactic," Branson says that passengers would fly into suborbital space aboard a modified version of SpaceShipOne, which is one of the leading contenders for the X Prize (to be given for the first commercial piloted craft to reach space).

Branson, a noted adventurer as well as an enterpreneur, says that the flights should debut within three years, and that seats will initially go for approximately $50,000 each. Passengers will receive a week's training prior to liftoff; flights will then last for roughly three hours (I know, I know... "A three-hour tour... a three-ho-ur tour...").