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Branson announces space tourism plans

Posted by: Stellvia - Mon Sep 27, 2004 9:14 am
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Branson announces space tourism plans 
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Post Branson announces space tourism plans   Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 9:14 am
Virgin boss Richard Branson signs $20million deal with Mojave Aerospace for development of space tourism

This and Bigelow's announcement of the America's Space Prize, on the same day. What a day for the commercial space industry :D

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3693020.stm

Virgin boss in space tourism bid

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has announced his company has signed an agreement worth £14m to secure the first commercial flights into space.

The deal with the US firm which owns the technology, could be worth millions over the next 15 years depending on the number of space vehicles built.

Prices for each seat into space are expected to start at around £115,000.

Sir Richard revealed the new venture at a briefing held on Monday at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.

Up to 3,000 astronauts could be flying into space over a five-year period, according to Virgin.

Sir Richard said: "We hope to create thousands of astronauts over the next few years and bring alive their dream of seeing the majestic beauty of our planet from above, the stars in all their glory and amazing sensation of weightlessness.

"The development will also allow every country in the world to have their own astronauts rather than the privileged few."

The deal is with Mojave Aerospace Ventures, the company set up by aviation pioneer Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to exploit the technology developed for private space vehicle SpaceShipOne.

SpaceShipOne is one of 23 other craft vying for the $10m (£5.7m) prize Ansari X-Prize, which rewards the first team to send a non-government, three-person craft over 100km into space, and repeat the feat in the same craft in two weeks.

The Virgin boss was flanked by Rutan at the launch.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:02 am
More info on Scaled Composites website.

The agreement will fund the development of a new SS1-class vehicle, the VSS Enterprise (Didn't know Branson was a Trekkie :lol: ), to be owned and operated by a new company, Virgin Galactic.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:34 am
Folks, we could now really buy a ticket to space. The price is steep granted, but it isn't the sort of insane million dollar ticket like Titov's trip.

I am a happy man. First Bigelow's announcement, and now this. We are starting to see real money from mainstream investors coming in. 8)


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:19 pm
Ah, you guys pipped me to the post (excuse the pun). Reuters has it also...

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jh ... ction=news

Sweeeeeeet!

Time to start saving. I didn't think it was going to be this soon that I'd have to start. Ha ha ha!

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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:51 pm
I wonder whether this vehicle will be a derivative of SpaceShipOne, or it's successor (SpaceShipTwo anyone?).

Listening to some of the comments on Scaled's website, it seemed like it is the next generation craft, although for it to be finished in 2005 would be extremely quick design, unless Rutan already has most of the concepts down on paper.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:02 pm
Even though it means that again it's just Scaled getting investment, I think this is (as long as it goes according to plan!) a major step in private spacetravel. This is one of the first cases of private investment in setting up an actual "spaceline" and as long as it does well will not fail into attracting even more money to the industry. A good thing in my books. :D

As for whether it's a new spaceship, from what I've heard it will be a new one but closely based on SS1. I heard that it would be a 5 seater spaceplane which I think is more than the current one can take so I would assume it's simply SS1 with a slightly larger capacity, makes economic sense.

Hopefully that there is now the promise of tickets being available, space tourism may be more aknowledged by the masses, even if few could yet pay for them!

(p.s. One of the news programmes here really took the p**s out of this announcement :evil: , most news programmes here always seem to do this with space topics. It really gets on my nerves, :roll: but thats for another thread!)


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:17 am
Er... yeah. There was a 30-second slot about the Branson announcement on Newsnight. Far more airtime was devoted to a story about confectionery companies withdrawing king-size chocolate bars from sale to combat obesity.

So glad to see we've got our priorities sorted... not :?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:50 pm
20 seconds on national tv here and the rest was about the war, drugs and some criminal from 25 years ago ... :-(


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:23 pm
After tomorrow they'll probably talk a lot more about the Virgin deal. Plus Branson has his own reality show now as well.


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