Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic program has a dream to send the everyday man into space, if that everyday man has two hundred thousand dollars sitting around and two and a half hours to kill.
The world’s first commercial spaceship is the child of Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan. The ship is made up of two components, the mother ship and the detachable ship. The initial flight will go up to 70 miles or 60,000 feet into space with the mother ship, and then the passengers are dropped off with the detachable ship from the top and then go from zero to three hundred thousand miles an hour according to Branson (in youtube video “Richard Branson- What is Virgin Galactic?”). The ship has massive windows for the passengers to enjoy the view when up there and is said to have about five minutes of weightlessness. Trips to space could start as early as 2011.

What happens when a man has a bank account with more zero's than a social security number and a really smart friend
What happens when a man has a bank account with more zero's than a social security number and a really smart friend


To deal with the re-entry the ship has a “shuttlecock” design by Rutan that helps ease it back into the atmosphere. The ship will automatically balance itself out with a feathering device regardless of what angle it may re-enter at; it will not even require the pilot or a computer to do anything. It turns the space ship back into a glider to land safely back onto the earth on a runway.
Branson says interestingly about the systems design, “so we won’t have the same issues that NASA has when re-entering the atmosphere.” The only reason this seems interesting is that this could be Branson calling out NASA or at the very least pointing out that with the right budget and the right minds, problems that have become nightmares for many could be as easy as thinking a little more outside of the box and having a bigger bankroll.



With Branson talking about giving NASA some competition[;], this might be exactly what they need to get the space program back up and running to its glory days. If not in a competition, than [they might work] in a collaboration with each other. If NASA does not gain more funding, then it could possibly team up with Virgin Galactic and use some of the new technology with some of the credibility and other backings that an organization like NASA can provide.
The spaceship not only has potential for just traveling up into the sky, but Branson mentions the ability to get from New York to Australia in half an hour, having the ability to launch satellites into space for a fraction of the cost that it is to send them into orbit today and even opening up hotels in space. These seem like only possibilities for a man [that] [who] actually does not seem to have budget. With 300 people already signed up at two hundred thousand per ticket, [which] [the revenue ] is sixty million dollars before anyone is actually sent into space.
Virgin Galactic airways is a company that was started in 1991 with an around the world trip by Sir Branson to find the best minds in space and aviation, eventually meeting up with Burt Rutan who Branson says is the “Best engineering genius, aviation genius and space genius.” The project started with Rutan developing spaceship one and [took] [taking] it for three flights before they started to make space ship 2.



Virgin Galactic is not only sending things into space [for cheaper] [more cheaply], but they are sending them up in a more environmentally friendly way. “Both our space flights and satellite flights are almost completely environmentally benign,” says Branson. This alone is an incentive for NASA to try to team up with Branson and Rutan. With the amount of fuel and damage to the environment that is used with the current space program, Virgin Galactic will start to look like the less expensive, hipper and environmentally friendly way to continue the voyage in space.
With people in the world like Richard Branson, someone who is not afraid to invest in something that they believe in, the world could be going to new places sooner than anticipated. Perhaps the childhood dreams of spaceships, space stations and space travel for the average citizen will no longer be a piece of science fiction, but just a savings account away from reality.


Links to information about Virgin Galactic:
http://www.virgingalactic.com/
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/12/spaceshiptwo-christened-as-vss-enterprise/
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/12/video-spaceshiptwo-unveiling/