FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

US Okays Plans for Virgin Galactic

The US Department of State has given the green light for UK-based Virgin Galactic to work with American firms to develop passenger-carrying suborbital spacecraft.

Specifically, this will allow Virgin to license SpaceShipOne, developed by Mojave, CA-based Scaled Composites. SpaceShipOne made news -- and history -- back in October when it won the X Prize by completing two flights above 62 miles (100 km). The two companies have formed a joint venture, The Spaceship Company, that will develop suborbital craft for commercial use.

Plans are for commercial flights to begin within a couple of years. Virgin Galactic is taking reservations for the yet-to-be-constructed crafts, at $200,000 a seat.

Source: Space.com