Sir Richard Branson, the business tycoon behind the Virgin conglomerate, has opened the doors of his spaceship that wealthy tourists walk the future in space. He is hoping Virgin Galactic spaceship will be ready to take paying customers into space within a couple of years, perhaps even in 2013.
The BBC’s Richard Scott has become the first journalist who peered into the vessel, which is designed to propel six tourists and two pilots through the atmosphere and over 100 kilometers above the Earth. He notes that spaceship isn’t yet finished. After climbing through a small hole almost underneath the spaceship, has encountered on bare walls with wires and saw that there aren’t any seats yet. The cabin is only seven-and-a-half feet in diameter. All along the spaceship’s cabin are windows – some to the sides, others in the roof. The windows will let the passengers see the blue sky of earth first turn purple, and then into the blackness of space.
During their journey into space, passengers will need to sit opposite each other, although they’ll be able to leave their seats to float weightlessly for around five minutes once the ship is high enough. And when all they can hear is silence the passengers will know they’re in space. They’ll be able to see the curvature of the earth and the thin band of atmosphere above.
Virgin Galactic has already collected more than 400 reservations, with tickets from $200,000 per passenger. [BBC]