Monday, July 14, 2008

First Virgin Galactic Flight Booked

Virgin Galactic has announced the passengers of their first tourist spaceflight. And in a fit of irony, those first tourists are all Russians.

Owners of a Russian advertising firm, some of their family, and another Russian businessman and his wife have purchased the first Virgin Galactic tickets, and will be making their flight on the VSS Enterprise once public tourist flights start, currently expected in late 2009 or 2010. Note that this "first" designation does not count Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Galactic) and his family, who will be flying sometime prior to that, in part to emphasize the safety of the flights, and in part because it's really really cool and Mr. Branson is really really rich.

This news story comes with a few Virgin Galactic updates: around 250 people have now booked tickets for Virgin Galactic flights (including apparently 11 Russians). Last time I checked, 250 x $200,000 = fifty million freaking dollars. Just thought I'd mention that. Furthermore 85,000 others have applied, which would appear to imply that when I finally reach my goal, I may need to wait in line a while.

Also, it was mentioned (and I have not seen this explicitly stated until now) that the flights will include about 4 minutes of weightlessness, which is on par with what I expected.

Progress: 4.03%  Flight Time: 0:06:05

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