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Another Step Toward Commercial Space Flight

Richard Branson showed continued progress in his plans for commercial spaceflight when he introduced Virgin Galactic’s White Knight Two to 150 journalists at an airfield in the Mohave Desert. The plane’s function will be to carry an eight-person spaceship to a launch height of 48,000 feet where the ship will then use its own rocket power to blast itself up to a height of 360,000 ft. Here, passengers will experience a 4-minute period of weightlessness before descending to earth and landing at an airport like any other plane. The whole experience is planned to last about 2-1/2 hours and the passengers will have to come up with about $200,000 dollars apiece. So far, Branson has 100 takers who have already paid the space-fare, and claims to have 175 more that have put down a deposit of $20,000.

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