Tech & Science: Richard Branson's Plans for Space Tourism Sure Are Aggressive - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & ScienceRichard Branson's Plans for Space Tourism Sure Are Aggressive

16:40  11 september  2019
16:40  11 september  2019 Source:   popularmechanics.com

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New York (CNN Business) Richard Branson ' s space tourism startup, Virgin Galactic, is moving to New Mexico ahead of its first commercial flight. Branson ' s startup has spent 15 years building and testing its space plane in California' s Mojave desert. It took much longer than expected, in part

Billionaire Richard Branson has set up Virgin Galactic as part of his dream to conquer the final frontier. But it' s also a bet that could land him at the

Richard Branson's Plans for Space Tourism Sure Are Aggressive © Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic - Getty Images Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space company wants to begin crewed test flights 2020 and sending 1,500 tourists into space every year by 2023. Will it work?
  • Virgin Galactic is getting real in its plans for space tourism.
  • A document filed by the company's minority owners details its aggressive plans for the next several years, beginning with test flights in 2020.
  • By 2023, if Virgin Galactic and others have their way, space tourism will have reached a level of normalcy (at least for those who can afford it.)

The launch into commercial space travel will be an aggressive one, if Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic gets its way. Within a document published by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company describes a plan with crewed test flights starting in 2020 and sending 1,500 tourists into space every year by 2023.

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Branson originally predicted that Virgin Galactic would be flying customers into space by 2007. Development issues, a 2007 fatal explosion during a ground test and a tragic Virgin plans to operate its future private space flights out of the Spaceport America complex in New Mexico, but it has also

Billionaire Richard Branson has set up Virgin Galactic as part of his dream to conquer the final frontier. But it' s also a bet that could land him at the forefront of a new business: space tourism .

The document was an SEC filing by Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings (SCHH), 49 percent owners of Virgin Galactic. Without much fanfare, Virgin Galactic has gone public on the New York Stock Exchange as a subsidiary of SCHH, a special purpose acquisition company run by former Facebook employees.

The filing describes a clear plan for Virgin Galactic: tickets going for $250,000 each, promising several minutes of weightlessness and views of the curvature of Earth. Virgin Galactic will take customers 50 miles above Earth's surface, at which point both NASA and Air Force pilots get their astronaut wings.

Watch: How Richard Branson plans to make space tourism public (Bloomberg)

The filing describes a "universal fascination with human spaceflight" and notes that among the millionaire set Virgin Galactic is targeting, out-of-home experiences are often a priority beyond luxury goods or amenities.

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Billionaire Richard Branson has set up Virgin Galactic as part of his dream to conquer the final frontier. But it' s also a bet that could land him at the forefront of a new business: space tourism .

Billionaire Richard Branson has set up Virgin Galactic as part of his dream to conquer the final frontier. But it' s also a bet that could land him at the forefront of a new business: space tourism .

However, where Virgin Galatic is taking its passengers is not a universally agreed upon definition of space. There's also the Kármán line, or 100 km (about 62 miles) into space. That's the Earth-space separation point for the Fédération aéronautique internationale (FAI), which maintains aeronautical and astronomical records.

Kármán line debate aside, SCHH says that almost 700 people have signed up for rides in a SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, which require two pilots and can hold six passengers. The company hopes to start with 16 flights in 2020, bumped up to 270 flights a year by 2023. At that point, Virgin Galactic hopes it will have a full fleet of five SS2 spacecraft, as opposed to the two spacecraft (VSS Enterprise and VSS Unity) it does now. Each Virgin Galactic spacecraft also requires a quadjet cargo airplane for launching.

Read more: Virgin Galactic reveals futuristic outpost for space tourism (Associated Press)

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Sir Richard Branson acknowledged on Saturday that his dream of commercial space tourism may have ended in the explosion that consumed Virgin Galactic’ s test craft SpaceShipTwo in the skies above California’ s Mojave desert. After rushing overnight to the scene of Friday’ s accident, the Virgin

That’ s Richard Branson ’ s dream, anyway. “I would love to have really sexy Virgin hotels in space , where people can go and stay in pods, and head off in little spaceships And although Branson clearly would like to see space tourism become something everyone can afford, it is sure to remain

Along with fellow billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, Branson hopes to launch a new era of space tourism. It appears that the potential business model is coming into focus.

Source: Business Insider

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Virgin Galactic says its new spaceport is 'operationally functional'.
Virgin Galactic has said the world's first specifically designed commercial spaceport is "operationally functional". © PA Virgin Galactic's new commercial spaceport is 'operationally functional', the comapny says The company, owned by Sir Richard Branson, is transferring all its spaceflight operations to Spaceport America in New Mexico. Until now, test flights - including the first successful launch of its tourism rocket plane into space last December - had been carried out in California.

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