Space Tourism

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060928 galactic cabin 02-1-

Space tourism [1]

Spaceshiptwo video

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NEW YORK – Future passengers aboard Virgin Galactic spaceliners can look forward to cushioned reclining seats and lots of windows during suborbital flights aboard SpaceShipTwo, a concept interior of which was unveiled by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson Thursday.

The air-launched SpaceShipTwo is designed to seat eight people – six passengers and two pilots – and be hauled into launch position by WhiteKnightTwo, a massive carrier craft currently under construction by Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn said.

For an initial ticket price of $200,000, Virgin Galactic passengers will buy a 2.5-hour flight aboard SpaceShipTwo and launch from an altitude of about 60,000 feet (18,288 meters), while buckled safely in seats that recline flat after reaching suborbital space. A flight animation depicted passengers clad in their own personal spacesuits as they reached a maximum altitude of at least 68 miles (110 kilometers).

Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceliners are slated to roll out and begin test flights by early 2008 in Mojave, California, with future operational spaceflights to be staged from New Mexico’s Spaceport America beginning in 2009.

“SpaceShipTwo is obviously designed as a commercial vehicle,”.

Passengers will have several minutes of weightlessness during the spaceflight, and then have about 40 seconds to return to their seats, Whitehorn said, adding that the floor of SpaceShipTwo is also designed to be used during landing of spaceflyers fail to reach their spots in time.

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