Virgin Galactic: GO for launch. The 0.01% are overjoyed

virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo.jpg

HOW MUCH??? I hope that's a round-trip fare.

Richard Branson is one small step closer: Virgin Galactic has secured agreements with U.S. and state regulators, meaning the company's shiny spaceplane can fly in controlled airspace, carrying six ludicrously-wealthy passengers.

The half-billion-dollar, reusable SpaceShipTwo is 'merely' suborbital, but points the way towards flying half-way around the world in a couple hours (so roll on SpaceShipThree).

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers think CamelCase is so last decade, darling.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 

Aunty's anonymous scribbler soaks up the NM sun: [Or perhaps rewrites a press release in a miserable, windowless, Salford newsroom? -Ed.]

Virgin Galactic has signed a deal with the...FAA, which will allow it to charter space flights from its base in...New Mexico [saying it's] "another step closer" to commercial space flights...by the end of 2014.

The FAA's air traffic control centre in Albuquerque...and the state's Spaceport Authority, will work with Virgin Galactic to make sure there is safe airspace for Virgin Galactic's...SpaceShipTwo.  MORE

 

AFP, too: [Bonjour -Ed.]

Richard Branson's dream of commercial space flights took a step nearer reality. ... Commercial flights are to begin by the end of this year and more than 600 people have already signed up at $250,000 each to take a trip on SpaceShipTwo.

The Virgin announcement came hours before Branson's main rival in the commercial space race was to unveil its latest spacecraft. Elon Musk...of SpaceX, was to present his company's "next generation" Dragon V2 spacecraft.  MORE

 

And even the Las Cruces Sun-News: [What is it with all the missing bylines today? -Ed.]

The agreement provides procedures for the safe integration of commercial, licensed space launch operations into the National Airspace System. ... The New Mexico Spaceport Authority also has an agreement in place with the US Army's White Sands Missile Range to support space launch activities within WSMR airspace.

Virgin Galactic [also] has agreements in place with Edwards Air Force Base and the FAA's Joshua Control Facility to cover spaceflights in California. As a whole, these agreements provide coverage for the company's airspace needs...into commercial service.  MORE

 

Mary Beth Quirk has a good feel down the back of the couch: [At least you didn't make a stupid "quirky" gag -Ed.]

Strap on your jetpacks and shine up your moon boots, because we’re going to space, y’all. ... At least if you’re super rich.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic has been revving its engines to take to the stars (or at least the Earth’s orbit) and now it’s got official clearance...with Branson and his family traveling on the initial voyage.

It’ll be a bustling business for Virgin, as the company says it’s already received more than $70 million in deposits.  MORE

 

Wait. Did you say "orbit"? anan makes like Moaning Minnie: [You're fired -Ed.]

This is just a very expensive amusement park ride. It will work until someone dies. ... Space tourism is a dream that only the top 1% can have. ... The only reason you feel weightlessness during these flights is that they free fall back to earth.

Imagine Virgin has a huge accident. It is going to result in backlash from the public and increased regulation of space travel, both of which are not good.  MORE

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