Branson expects space travel in two years

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A. As Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo landed after its first solo glide flight on Sunday, Virgin boss Richard Branson was enthusiastic about the programme’s progress.Sir Branson, who intends the SpaceShipTwo for tourists taking suborbital trips, hopes to bring his family on board the first flight into space, expecting this will be possible within 18 months to two years.“I would be surprised if twelve months from now we haven’t done our first test flight into space,” Mr Branson told reporters.“It’s a very big deal,” he said after Sunday’s glide flight.“There are a number of quite big deals on the way to getting commercial space travel to become a reality and this was a very big step.“We now know that the space ship glides. We know that it can be dropped safely from the mother ship and that it can land safely.”The next test for the spacecraft will involve the firing of its rocket motor, expecting to occur in the next few months according to Mr Branson.”Now, our challenge going forward will be to complete our experimental program, obtain our FAA license and safely bring the system into service at Spaceport America, New Mexico,” Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said in a statement.Virgin Galactic claim to have 370 seats booked, collecting USD50 million in deposits, each ticket costing USD200,000, Space.com reported.SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers as it travels to outer space for a few minutes before returning to Earth. Passengers will experience weightlessness and get a view of the earth from the darkness of space, the news source said. last_img

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