Branson: Space Launch Expected Within Weeks

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Virgin Galactic should be in space “within weeks, not months,” CEO Richard Branson told CNBC this week. He added that he expects to fly to space himself “in months and not years,” and customers will be in space “not too long after that.” Virgin Galactic pilots have been flight-testing VSS Unity, with the aim to carry passengers up to 100 km, or about 62 miles, above the Earth. So far, the craft has flown to about half that altitude.

Branson also told CNBC there is plenty of consumer demand to justify Virgin’s commercial space-launch efforts. "If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it,” he said. "So I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts and go to space is gigantic. And it is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater with that demand.” He added that he hopes Virgin can reduce the cost of spaceflight over time from $250,000 down to about $50,000 per seat.

Comments (1)

It's always "next year", Mary. This is a rewrite you did from the VG PR team's press release 6+ years ago:

AVweb Flash - July 2012
Virgin Galactic will make its maiden tourist flight into space next year, Sir Richard Branson announced at the Farnborough Air Show on Wednesday. He also unveiled plans to use WhiteKnightTwo to carry a vehicle called LauncherOne that will deliver commercial satellites into orbit. The vehicle is already in development and is expected to be ready for operations by 2016. It will offer "frequent and dedicated launches at the world's lowest prices," according to Virgin's news release. Four private companies already have put down deposits for several dozen launches. Branson also said Virgin Galactic now has deposits for suborbital tourist flights from 529 people, which is just above the total of 528 people who have flown in space to date.

Posted by: Gus Funnell | October 12, 2018 11:36 AM    Report this comment

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