Feeds

Virgin to offer space flights

Hop aboard the 'VSS Enterprise' - for £100k

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

High-flying Brit entrepreneur Richard Branson today announced the imminent take-off of the "VSS Enterprise" - a scaled-up version of Burt Rutan's SpacShipOne - which will offer well-to-do wannabe astronauts the chance of zero-grav flights for a mere £100,000.

The Virgin boss has signed a £14m, 15-year licensing deal with Mojave Aerospace Ventures - the outfit financed by MS co-founder Paul Allen - to build five Rutan-designed vehicles. The lads' SpaceShipOne has already ascended to 100km and is front-runner to claim the $10m X-Prize for the first private spaceship to reach said altitude twice within a two-week period.

Branson reckons there are around 3,000 people world-wide who would be prepared to stump up the cash for a three-hour flight. He hopes that the revenue generated from the intial flights will drive down the price and allow the hoi-polloi to hop aboard.

And Branson's lofty ambitions don't end there. Unveiling his plan at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London today, he told reporters: "If it is a success, we want to move into orbital flights and then, possibly, even get a hotel up there."

The first VSS Enterprise is slated for blast-off from the Mojave desert in 2007. Branson hopes to open further launch sites in Florida, Australia and Singapore and will invest $100m in ground infrastructure. ®

Related stories

Rutan bagsies 'shotgun' in SpaceShipOne
X-prize race hots up
SpaceShipOne triumphs

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.