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First update from Virgin Galactic

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:18 pm
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The launch of Virgin Galactic last year and the news that Sir Richard Branson planned to take paying passengers into space suggests the Ansari X Prize has achieved its goal in providing the catalyst for commercial manned space travel. You and many thousands of other future astronauts from across the globe have brought that goal another step closer.

The Virgin Galactic team has been busy putting the foundations of the business in place and dealing with the enormous interest the initiative has generated. It has taken longer than we had hoped to respond to you and we would like to thank you for your patience. We are going to keep you regularly informed about developments at Virgin Galactic as our quest for commercial space travel moves closer to fruition.

MISSION UPDATE
DESIGN AND BUILD Work is well underway in the Mojave Desert on the initial design and technical feasibility of Virgin SpaceShip “Enterprise” and MotherShip “Eve”. Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites are excited and encouraged by the results from this work.

Alex Tai, Head of Operations at Virgin Galactic explained, “Although we can’t divulge any details yet, we are confident that our safety and configuration specifications can and will be met and that we will very soon be able to move to the construction stage of the project”.

RESERVATION PROCESS Virgin Galactic is open for business! We are starting the process of taking reservations for the first year’s flights and will shortly be accepting deposits. Stephen Attenborough, Head of Astronaut Relations, recently enthused, “Our first astronauts will be pioneers in the true sense of the word; not only will they be amongst the world’s first commercial astronauts, but their early commitment will help to bring the project to fruition and pave the way for thousands of others to make the dream a reality”.

Ticket prices for initial flights have been set at US$200,000. Flights are filling quickly but space is still available. Refundable deposits of at least $20,000 will be required to secure a seat. The first 100 to fly will be invited to become Virgin Galactic Founders. Our Founders will help shape our plans over the next 3 years and enjoy unique access to the project as it develops.

Our aim is to reduce ticket prices as the business grows over the coming years. We plan to offer the opportunity to reserve these tickets by payment of a small deposit against a future space flight at a time and price that suits you.

More info: virgingalactic.com

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