with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Space: The Next Destination

Your next vacation destination? Why not choose space as your next destination?

Not just “get some space” but really get into space with the space tourism program with Virgin Group:

The Spaceship Company, a joint venture of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group of London and Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites of Mojave, Calif., plans to begin test flights of its first suborbital passenger ship this year. The vehicle is based on Rutan’s SpaceShipOne, which made three piloted flights to suborbital space in 2004.

…The flights captivated Branson. He hired Rutan to design a fleet of ships for commercial suborbital spaceflights and began taking reservations and deposits through a Virgin Atlantic Airways offshoot, Virgin Galactic.

So far, the company has taken more than $20 million in deposits from customers willing to pay $200,000 to experience a few moments of weightlessness and take in the view from 360,000 feet, or 68 miles…

…Virgin expects its first commercial spaceflights will take place from Mojave, where SpaceShipOne flew, in late 2008 or early 2009. Operations will transfer to New Mexico when spaceport construction is finished. The firm also is looking at sites in other countries.

Why not make space your next vacation destination. After all, Stephen Hawking has space on his vacation schedule. Other competitors are starting to get into the action, so expect the next race to space to be tourist driven – literally.

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