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Dr Mordrid
14th December 2005, 19:31
not far from Roswell :)

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/virgingalactic.th.jpg

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/12/13/space.tourism.ap/index.html


LONDON, England (AP) --

Virgin Galactic, the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement Tuesday for the state to build a $225 million spaceport.

Virgin Galactic also revealed that up to 38,000 people from 126 countries have paid a deposit for a seat on one of its manned commercial flights, including a core group of 100 "founders" who have paid the initial $200,000 cost of a flight upfront. Virgin Galactic is planning to begin flights in late 2008 or early 2009.

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans said construction of the spaceport, to be built largely underground in the south of the state near the White Sands Missile Range, could begin in early 2007, depending on approval from environmental and aviation authorities.

Virgin will have a 20-year lease on the facility, with annual payments of $1 million for the first five years and rising to cover the cost of the project by the end of the lease.Dr. Mordrid

KRSESQ
14th December 2005, 21:59
Cool logo. I believe that's Richard Branson's iris, is it not?

Kevin

schmosef
14th December 2005, 22:03
It's amazing that all this is actually happening in our time.

If the pace keeps up just imagine how far we'll progress in just a couple of generations.

KRSESQ
14th December 2005, 22:06
I'm still hoping American Airlines (which aquired TWA in 2001) will still honor my passenger moon-flight reservation from 1969.

Kevin

Dr Mordrid
15th December 2005, 07:29
Rutan is already talking that if SS2 is sucessful its followup, SS3, will be orbital and be capable of docking with space stations. Note the plural; word is that VG, Rutan etc. are in talks with Bigelo Aerospace regarding their habitat modules and could well also visit the ISS.

If this keeps up NASA might not have to build a shuttle replacement.

Dr. Mordrid

Claymonkey
15th December 2005, 07:55
Sadly with the way government mispending and logistics are going this is the only way we are going to get anywhere with space travel. Still this makes me hope that people might actually make it back to the Moon or to Mars in my lifetime.

Dr Mordrid
15th December 2005, 08:19
Problem with US govt science/tech projects is that they are almost always too expensive by orders of magnitude, to bureaucratic and far too micromanaged by the administration and congress. On the other hand privately funded science/tech projects have something govt. projects don't: people who are passionate and can actually make final decisions.

Dr. Mordrid