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 ’œThe 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

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

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I think this is one of the few times imo when privatization is a really good idea. Whether we think it”s necessary or not, we need to continue to develop new forms of space travel and technology to facilitate it. What the ppl whose only argument is ”we have too many problems down here to be worrying about this,” they fail to understand the two most important implications of aeronautical research. The first is for national defense… it”s bad enough that nasa has to rely on Russia to ferry them to the ISS. If we keep going at this rate, our disadvantage will only grow as they continue to develop new technologies in their space program while we pump the brakes on ours. Is air and space superiority something you really want the Russians to have? It doesn”t seem like a good idea for any one country to have, let alone one whom we have a sketchy history with. The second is that with aeronautical research comes a flood of new technologies, most of which are very applicable to us down on earth. For example, if it wasn”t for nasa, we wouldn”t have the chips that we use for non-invasive biopsies, solar energy, and a whole litany of other things (http://www.thespaceplace.com/nasa/spinoffs.html#Top has a good number of inventions that most of us don”t know came from our space program). And if you”re one of those ppl that are so skeptical (or cynical imo) that you still don”t think that any of the things on this list warrant a larger investment in a privatized space industry, just remember that while you sleep at night, you most likely have nasa to thank for that, too. If you use any type of home security system, chances are they use infrared and laser technology that came out of nasa”s research (just look at the adt wireless security system infrared camera page. They even admit that the technology came from nasa!)

It’s a plarsuee to find someone who can think so clearly

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