Virgin Galactic to launch space flight within weeks

11 October, 2018, 14:52 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Virgin Galactic will be in space in “weeks not months,” says Branson

"And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years", after which point his piggybacking little spaceships will open their hatches to the paying public; beating rival nouveau billionaires Musk and Bezos to the PR win of being first to offer orbital holidays to the super rich. It performed powered test flights in April and May.

"So we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead,"he said".

CEO George Whitesides told the Albuquerque Journal this August that while the company no longer gives a timeline for when commercial operations might begin, he said its long-anticipated move to New Mexico was drawing near. Despite the $US250,000 ($350,834) price tag, however, some 800 people have bought Virgin Galactic tickets since they went on sale almost 15 years ago.

Speaking to CNBC in Singapore, the billionaire Virgin founder said the company was "more than tantalizingly close" to launching its first mission to space, and that he himself hoped to briefly leave Earth within "months not years".

Sir Richard conceded earlier this year that the number of spurious claims he has made about Virgin Galactic flight dates was "embarrassing".

Virgin Galactic now has about 800 passengers on its roster, all of whom have paid around $250,000 (£190,000) for a return trip to space.

For comparison, astronauts at the orbiting International Space Station fly some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.


When asked about the plans to expand the fitness arm of the Virgin Group, Mr Branson noted that while there was "considerable opportunity" to grow in China and other parts of Asia, the priority is to continue to grow the company's presence in existing markets first. The ticket price could ultimately fall to $50,000, he said.

Once released, the spaceship will fire up its rocket, and head for the sky.

He also insisted there was huge demand for commercial space flights.

Virgin Galactic is "neck and neck" with Blue Origin, run by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, to provide the first commercial spaceflight, Branson said in May.

Branson's estimation puts the Virgin Galactic project not far behind its initial deadline.

Last we heard of VSS Unity, it conducted a flight test that took it into the Mesosphere of the planet, 170,800 feet above sea level. The company expects its New Shepard suborbital vehicle to carry the first space tourists into orbit in 2019.

Recommended:



Popular

Saudis to Turkey: Search our consulate for missing WaPo columnist, dissenter
Turkey says it will conduct a search of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul over the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi . The BBC published on Monday an off-air conversation of last interview with disappeared Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

ISS: Space rocket declares emergency after launch - astronauts parachute out
Russian and US space officials said that the crew is heading for an emergency landing in Kazakhstan at an unspecified time. A duo of astronauts from the US and Russian Federation has blasted off for a mission on the International Space Station.

Monstrous Hurricane Michael tears into Florida
An AccuWeather meteorologist captured Hurricane Michael's intense eye wall on the east side of Panama City Beach. Images and video from the area showed stores and entire shopping centers that were turned into piles of rubble.

Trump Blames "Crazy" Federal Reserve As Wall Street Suffers Ugly Losses
In Paris, shares in Kering fell almost 10 percent, LVMH over seven percent and Hermes around five percent. Bourses in Paris and Frankfurt both lost more than two percent, while London fell 1.3 percent.

Alleged Saudi hit squad linked to Jamal Khashoggi disappearance
Saudi Arabia insists that he left less than an hour after arriving at the consulate. The Trump administration must report to Congress within 120 days.

The Best Man at Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank's wedding is revealed
Eugenie has given her family the centrestage at her wedding, with her cousin Peter's two daughter being enlisted as bridesmaids.

Golf, keys and dodge ball! New games arrive for Nintendo Entertainment System
Anything you don't immediately have access to will be easy to buy given how many rupees you start this version of the game with. However, upon finishing the game (which should not take long with the given head start) players unlock "Second Quest".

Mitch McConnell is standing by Lisa Murkowski Kathryn Krawczyk
During the vote, Murkowski withdrew her "no" vote, changing it to "present" instead, effectively pairing it with Republican Sen. Trump used the ceremony as a platform to decry the " campaign of political and personal destruction " waged against Kavanaugh.

Tway clinches first PGA Tour victory in playoff in Napa
The 20-year-old finished regulation at 13-under 275, after carding a 71 in the final round with four birdies against three bogeys. Tway birdied the final two holes of the final round, then birdied three straight playoff holes, the last one to clinch the win.

Fortnite V6.02 Adds Previously Teased Quad Launcher and Disco Domination
It can be "fired normally for a narrow half-tile wide pulse, or changed for a one-tile wide or 1.5-tile wide blast". It is not possible to build on or over the dance floors, but they can be protected by surrounding them with a fort.