Virgin unveils spaceship designs

Virgin Galactic has released the final design of the launch system that will take fare-paying passengers into space.

It is based on the X-Prize-winning SpaceShipOne concept - a rocket ship that is lifted initially by a carrier plane before blasting skywards.

The Virgin system is essentially a refinement, but has been increased in size to take eight people at a time on a sub-orbital trip, starting in 2010.

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson said the space business had huge potential.

"I think it's very important that we make a genuine commercial success of this project," he told a news conference in New York.

"If we do, I believe we'll unlock a wall of private sector money into both space launch systems and space technology.

View: BBC News

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It's pretty sad that we have people working on a pointless and expensive trip into space meanwhile people in Africa are still working on finding clean drinking water.

I guess it's all about priorities. After all, if the wealthy don't have pointless things to do with their money then what good is it to have that money?

Shame they cant get their trains right first, then concentrate on space travel

Bing Bong...
"The 10:15 shuttle to Mars leaving launchpad 5 has been delayed due to icicles on the gantry"
"Virgin values it's customers and would like to point out, that refreshments can be purchased Huston Control cafe..."

(whocares78 said @ #6)
i can't wait till 'normal' people can afford it, what a trip that woudl be

Woohoo! I can't wait til we can screw up other planets just like this one! :nuts:

You know, I look forward to a time when this sort of thing becomes more affordable (10~20K) but still expensive enough to keep the queue from being too long. Quick loan and one of the best holidays money can buy!