five non blondes

The Race to Space
July 31, 2008, 7:13 pm
Filed under: travel | Tags: ,
Who would have thought that we could take a commercial flight to space within our lifetime?  It definitely wasn’t ever in my realm of possibilities until I started seeing this stuff from Virgin.  They’ll fly you a little over 62 miles up in the air (62 miles is considered the “boundary of space”).  You’ll be allowed to feel weightlessness for up to 6 minutes.  They’ve already sold seats on the first flights starting at $200,000, but after the first 500 passengers it will be reduced to $20,000. Those rumored to already have tickets include William Shatner, Philippe Starck, Dave Navorro, Paris HIlton, Stephen Hawking, and more. 
They’re using the existing SpaceShipOne technology and creating their own SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic.  There will be room for  2 pilots and 6 passengers on each flight.  They’re requiring 50 test flights of the ship before tourists are allowed to go on and that’s scheduled to start in 2009.  The intent is to have regular flights going by 2010.  Both the test flights and the initial tourist flights are set to take off from the Mojave Spaceport in New Mexico.
Interestingly, they do actually have some competition in this field from other companies like EADS Astrium, Rocketplane Limited, Space Adventures, and Benson Space Company. 
I think I might have something new to add to my list of things to do before I die!

5 Comments so far
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William Shatner has repeatedly asserted that he has no interest in these orbital flights. Shatner once told the Ottawa Citizen newspaper that he considered sending Virgin a “cease and desist” order about the use of his name.

Comment by TRexx

“…but after the first 500 passengers it will be reduced to $20,000” Can you mention where you heard this, please.

Comment by Reda Anderson

Most of the info came from Wikipedia. They list all of their sources at the bottom of the page. I’m also on the frequent flyer mail list for Virgin and they listed some of it in a recent email and on their virgin galactic website.

Comment by 5nonblondes

According to Wikipedia, after the first 500 flights, the deposit will be reduced to $20,000, not the cost of the flight. “…starting at US$200,000 for the first 100,[1][2]) after the first 500 passengers, seats will be booked with a deposit of US $20,000”.

Comment by Reda Anderson

You’re right. The price remains $200,000 the whole time, the deposit just gets smaller. My mistake. This site answers a lot of frequently asked questions too that are pretty interesting.

Comment by 5nonblondes

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