Well it has nearly happened and it is not unexpected that it is Richard Branson who is all but there. This daring entrepreneur, who epitomises the great British spirit, hopes within the next 12 months to launch a commercial vessel into space. He has confirmed that the mother ship is complete with rocket tests going to plan and is more than confident that an official launch will take place within a year.
Virgin Galactic, his company fully expects in the future to send people into space and launch satellites for far less cost than space programmes run by governments.He told CNN’s Piers Morgan “This could be the beginning of a whole new era of space travel, which will be commercial space travel” and Virgin has already sold some 430 tickets for space travel for the ‘small’ sum of $200,000 a throw.
“It’s not a cheap thing to build a spaceship company and it’s been fantastic to have people all over the world sign up,” Branson said. His company will undertake to send tourists on sub orbital flights before launching them higher still. Branson has often said he hopes one day to build a hotel in space. Never mind the tourists – let’s hope he has better luck at getting staff than most hotels in this country!