Space Travel for the Masses? Meet Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic Commercial Space TravelThere was the invention of the wheel, which led to a multitude of transportation methods for the masses, then the Wright Brothers caught onto something.  Today, commercial airlines serve us in ways people in the past could not have dreamed of.  Enter Virgin Galactic, the company who aims to make space travel possible for everyone.

Seem outrageous?  So did commercial airlines to our predecessors, so why not commercial spacelines?  We live in a world of possibilities, and this could extend out of the world. 

Virgin Galactic, a company within Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, and aerospace partners Scaled Composites plans to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public, along with suborbital space science missions and assist with orbital launches of smaller satellites.  Yes, the world’s first manned commercial spaceliner has been revealed!

The official unveiling took place in the Mojave Desert, with over 800 attendees, including Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Richardson, of California and New Mexico.

 It would certainly seem that exotic travel has just left the planet.  The spacecraft are rumored to be robust and affordable enough to transport passengers who can afford the $200,000 per person trip into space.  The deposit is a mere $20,000, if you are squeamish. 

Specifications are said to include an eight-passenger, two pilot space craft capable of overlapping the Earth’s atmosphere at 70,000 feet, accomplishing a sub-orbital trip that includes a short period of weightlessness.  What happens at 52,000 feet is what sets this aircraft apart from anything you will find at Delta, Southwest or any other commercial airline-the rocket separates, allowing the ship to catapult into space.  We wonder if they will have a soundtrack when this happens…we recommend Counting Crows “Catapult”.

In total, the space flight experience spans over about 2.5 hours, with the suborbital portion allotting a fraction of that.  Passengers are weightless for approximately 6 minutes, during which they are permitted to release their seatbelts and float around the cabin-sounds pretty cool!  I wonder if the pilot will prepare any cheesy in-flight announcements:  “Passengers, you are free to float around at this time, please make certain your tray tables are in the upright and locked position to avoid injury upon deflation….”.

Test flights of the “White Knight 2” have been underway for almost a year, and there are already 170 future astronauts with confirmed reservations.  But hey guys, seriously, what happened to “White Knight #1”?

If space travel is too exotic for your tastes, or if you are a bit light in the wallet to spin into orbit, you can always quench your thirst for speed and the exotic behind the wheel of a luxury rental car.  No need for speed?  Try a luxury rental property to escape and decompress from the ordinary.  As for me? I’ll be needing a cab to Mars, and have an Aston Martin Rental ready for me there, please.

Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals