Branson family to make first trip on space tourism programme
528 people have been into space since Yuri Gagarin’s historic first mission. Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic will have 529 future astronauts signed up to join Virgin in space. British tycoon said that he and his family will be the first on board the inaugural space tourism programme. Branson hopes to make the journey on the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) aircraft by the end of 2013.
“Next year Holly and Sam will be joining me for a first voyage into space. SpaceshipTwo will be taking up citizens from more than 50 countries to space. After seeing the beauty of our planet from space, I hope they will all come back as citizens of earth.” said Richard Branson.
“The last seven years have been full of some tough moments and incredible moments. Of all the many, many companies we have started at Virgin over the years, there is really nothing like Galactic. As an entrepreneur with a love of adventure, it keeps my mind buzzing, and I’m always pushing the team to come up with new ideas.”
Branson announced also the next step of the Galactic journey: revolutionary new satellite launch vehicle LauncherOne. The pieces are all in place to transform the business of satellite launch, which will open up space to everyone.
This new vehicle will change the whole satellite industry and space-based science research. Branson have the largest order book of any new launch vehicle ever. The cost of putting a satellite into space before Virgin Galactic was around $30-40 million. Virgin say it will be able to do it for under $10 million, opening up space to thousands of new groups, universities and research programs.