Last month the developer of the Virgin Galactic-operated SpaceShipTwo suborbital space tourism vehicle was granted regulatory approval to begin rocket-powered flight testing in the United States, bringing space travel a step closer to a reality. Breaking Travel News catches up with George Whitesides, president and chief executive of Virgin Galactic, to find out what this means for space tourism.
Virgin Galactic and Aabar Investments have announced the appointment of Steve Landeene to the role of chief advisor, Spaceport Abu Dhabi. Between 2007 and 2010, Landeene was executive director of Spaceport America in New Mexico and oversaw the development of Virgin Galactic’s operational hub and the world’s first purpose built commercial spaceport.
Entrepreneur Richard Branson has inaugurated the $200 million, Norman Foster designed Spaceport America as Virgin Galactic inches closer to the stars. Some 800 guests were on hand to witness a fly-past from WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo as part of a spectacular opening ceremony.
Richard Branson’s commercial space venture Virgin Galactic has taken a key step closer to taking tourists into space. Test pilots have flown the spacecraft softly back the Earth’s atmosphere from space. The achievement is fundamental to reducing wear and tear on the rocket, so it can reach achieve the goal of making several flights per day.
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.