Space tourism for the masses has taken another step closer to reality with the opening of the world’s first commercial spaceport in New Mexico, USA.
Enterprise – the suborbital spacecraft developed by Virgin Galactic – has successfully completed its first manned free flight. The craft was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft before successfully gliding to land at Mojave Air & Spaceport.
Russian space group Energiya in partnership with America’s Orbital Technologies have won the tender to build the world’s first space hotel, complete with a menu devised by celebrity chefs. The CSS hotel will house up to seven space tourists, and also double up as an emergency refuge for astronauts.
Entrepreneur Richard Branson has revealed Virgin Galactic is just 18 months away from offering commercial space travel. With Boeing also preparing to enter the space-tourism market, Branson also outlined plans to go one step further, revealing ambitions of building hotels in space.
Boeing has confirmed it will enter the space tourism market, with flights beginning as soon as 2015. Linking up with Virginia-based Space Adventures, the aviation giant will offer trips to the International Space Station aboard its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft.
Fulfilling the ambition of many down here on earth, it has been confirmed Russell Brand will be blasted into space. Sadly for some, he will also be returning to earth aboard the newly launched Virgin Galactic service, as he enjoys a luxurious $200,000 birthday gift from singer girlfriend Katy Perry.
The promise of space tourism has edged one step closer, with Virgin Galactic confirming its prototype space craft has completed its inaugural captive carry flight. The organisation said the VSS Enterprise has successfully carried out the flight over the Mojave Desert in the United States.
Virgin Galatic’s attempt to launch its space tourism venture from a UK base has been given heavyweight public and private sector backing.
Will Whitehorn, President of space travel pioneer Virgin Galactic, will make a very special appearance at the Business Travel & Meetings Show on Wednesday 10 February.
Virgin Galactic unveiled the VSS Enterprise last night (December 9), two years ahead of the launch of what will be the world’s first commercial spacecraft. The craft, which is also known as Space Ship Two, will take six passengers paying $200,000 and two pilot astronauts 110km into space in 30 seconds.
Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan has bought a 32% stake in Virgin Galactic for $280m (£170m), in a deal that values Sir Richard Branson’s space venture at $900m.
Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic talks to Breaking Travel News at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2009.