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Virgin Galactic’s Space Ship Two Completes First Manned Glide Flight

VSS Enterprise glides fantastically back towards Mojave Space Port. Photo by Mark Greenberg

VSS Enterprise glides fantastically back towards Mojave Space Port. Photo by Mark Greenberg

Hold on to your hats boys and girls, we are one step closer to space tourism.

Remember back in the early days of air travel; it was new, exciting and only for the wealthy. Today, we take it for granted and complain if we don’t get free peanuts. Today, private space travel is still in its pre-infant stage and hopefully will blossom into a very popular and successful venture.

On Sunday the 10th, the VSS Enterprise achieved manned flight at over 45,000 feet and then glided successfully to the Mojave Air and Spaceport.

The VSS Enterprise (or called SpaceShipTwo) was flown up by its mother ship (or called WhiteKnightTwo or “Eve”) to 45,000 feet, when the VSS Enterprise was released.

Commenting on the successful flight Scaled Composites pilot, Pete Siebold, said “The VSS Enterprise was a real joy to fly, especially when one considers the fact that the vehicle has been designed not only to be a Mach 3.5 spaceship capable of going into space but also one of the worlds highest altitude gliders.”

So far 370 potential customers have placed deposits to get a ride on a future space flight. $20,000.00 will save you a seat and a total of $200,000.00 will get you a ride. Not too bad of a deal when you think about how few people have traveled into space.

Learn and see more:
* Video of VSS Enterprise first glide
* Learn more about the aircraft and space ship used
* A few more photos from Virgin Galatic
* Take a look at plans for the world’s first public space port
* Get your own space ticket
* Video interview with Virgin Galactic President William Whitehorn

Boeing Moves into Space Tourism

Boeing's mock up of what the CST-100 will most likely look like.

Boeing's mock up of what the CST-100 will most likely look like. Photo from Boeing.

The Boeing Company has been making things that go into space for quite some time now. Earlier in the week, they announced plans to possibly start sending normal Joe-Schmos into space…for a price.

Boeing and Space Adventures have created a memorandum of agreement regarding the marketing the transportation of passengers on commercial flight board the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 (or CST-100) to low Earth orbit.

Boeing plans to use the CST-100 to transport crews to the International Space Station, but will also provide room for private individuals, companies and pretty much anyone who isn’t NASA to hitch a ride.

Boeing and Space Adventures have not yet set a price per seat for spaceflight participants, but will do so when full-scale development is under way. Boeing continues to advance its design for the CST-100 spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Space Act Agreement. The spacecraft, which can carry seven people, will be able to fly on multiple launch vehicles and is expected to be operational by 2015.

“We are excited about the potential to offer flights on Boeing’s spacecraft,” said Eric Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures. “With our customer experience and Boeing’s heritage in human spaceflight, our goal is not only to benefit the individuals who fly to space, but also to help make the resources of space available to the commercial sector by bringing the value from space back to Earth.”

At this point there is no cost set up for these flights, but don’t expect them to be cheap.

In my opinion this is awesome. Virgin Galactic is already well on their way to start space tourism and getting a big company like Boeing involved will just up the stakes and create competition.

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