Virgin Galactic Space Flight: Passenger Paid $200,000 For Trip
Virgin Galactic is bringing people to the outer space for a leisure trip that offers once in a lifetime experience. The company that introduced the first space tourism is getting closer to its dream of taking people outside of Earth for a trip that they will not forget.
As the project progresses, Richard Branson, the billionaire who founded Virgin Galactic, announced that it is moving its 100 employees and passenger rocket to New Mexico, called the "world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport," as they get closer to the day of the first commercial flight to space. Moreover, as stated in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the transfer of the operations to the Spaceport America was done in preparations for the launch.
With tickets costing as much as $250,000, at least 700 people already signed for the flight from New Mexico base to the border of the Earth which is over 50 miles high.
One of the latest to register for the trip to space was David Whitcomb, a resident of Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii. He paid $200,000 for a ticket and he is very happy with the purchase.
"I've always wanted to go to space. From the time I was ten-years-old, I wanted to be an astronaut," he told KITV News when asked why he signed up. "I hoped we'd be going in 2010 because the early announcement in 2008 made it appear as if we would."
Then again, while many people already paid to reserve a seat in the commercial space rocket, the exact date for the Virgin Galactic's flight has not been set. The company's CEO, George Whitesides, said that more test flights are still waiting to be completed so they cannot say a specific date yet.
In any case, although most of the testings were successful, not all had a good outcome. In fact, in 2014, a test flight killed a co-pilot after the craft split apart and this was considered as one of the major setbacks that caused the project's delay. Despite the slowdown, the residents and officials of New Mexico remained patient for the program's completion and for this, Branson thanked everyone for their consideration.
Finally, commenting on his view for a big change to come when the first commercial flight to space become successful, the Virgin Galactic founder said, "Our future success as a species rests on the planetary perspective. The perspective that we know comes sharply into focus when that planet is viewed from the black sky of space."