YOU may have missed it in the middle of the week, but Richard Branson unveiled Virgin Spaceship Two – which was immediately christened the VSS Enterprise.
From what I can gather this was greeted with a good deal of cynicism on the interwebs, but I am massively excited by Branson’s news for what it means now and what it will inevitably become a few years down the line.
We’re talking actual fracking space tourism here people!
With the VSS Enterprise, the first astronauts will pay $200,000 – around £123,000 – to take off from the spaceport in New Mexico after three days of training.
The mother ship, VMS Eve, carries the rocket up to 50,000ft before it detaches and blasts into space at three times the speed of sound. There it will reach an altitude of around 110km, flying in a parabolic arc which will allow the passengers to experience weightlessness for 5-10 minutes, before it glides back to Earth.
All that for a few minutes you may say, and yes, it is expensive to you and I now. But to go into space it seems like a price worth paying and I would definitely cough up.
What’s more, I never thought space tourism would be a reality in my lifetime and this is just the beginning.
In a few years, who knows? Orbital flights, space hotels, people owning spaceships like they do private jets.
To me that is a massively exciting prospect and one I am looking forward to enormously.
So to Richard Branson and Bert Rutan – the winner of the X Prize for private space flight and genius behind the spaceship designs – as well as to the pioneering (and stinking rich) astronauts, I say godspeed.
And if you ever want a sci-fi blogger to have a go, just to spread the word, then you have my number.
Here’s their promotional video.