Richard Branson announced at the Farnborough Airshow outside of London the first of his Virgin Galactic space flights would launch next year with his two kids in tow. He also introduced a new spaceship.
The new ship, “LauncherOne”, will carry small satellites into space at a fractional cost of traditional deliveries and would begin in 2016. But it was the confirmation that manned, tourist type flights will begin in 2013 that caused the most immediate excitement. Branson confirmed that his family, including his two children, Holly and Sam – who both are of adult age – sometime in 2013 for the flight that will take them to the edge of space, including a brief time of weightlessness, give passengers stunning views of Earth and will last about two hours. The flights will originate from Spaceport American in New Mexico
Already, Branson reports, more than 500 people have paid the $20,000 deposit on the $200,000 trip. The list includes famous actors, political figures and wealthy private citizens. In fact, the number is actually higher than the total amount of people that governments have put into space since the first Russian in 1961.
This along with the RedBull Stratos project due to happen later this year, there is lot of new space adventures for space geeks to keep an eye on.