From its inception, Virgin Galactic has been inspiring people the world over to think about what a look at the Earth would look and feel like from the capsule of a space ship. It would appear, that we are inching closer to that reality. For those unaware, the idea behind these flights is to have a large ship, ascend to the height of 50,000 feet and then drop a smaller ship, which will then take space tourists about 65 miles above the earths surface at a speeds of over 2500 mph.
So far what’s been announced has been pretty amazing. A space station known as Spaceport America is already being built in New Mexico, and the larger ship, the VMS Eve has taken several test flights, including one with Sir Richard Branson himself. It was the 16th flight and so far seems to be working smoothly. Virgin expects the ship to make an active drop by the end of 2009.
Another unique aspect of Virgin Galactic is how green it is. Great measures have been taken to make the ships as environmentally sound as possible. The engineers have basically taken what we know about space travel and started over, and so far it has paid off in a big way.
Speaking of paid in a big way, the price tag to get on to one of these flights is $200,000. So in the meantime, I’ll be sticking to regular flights to Europe for my next vacation!