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Start Planning A Trip To Space: World’s First Commercial Spaceport Opens Today

Spaceport AmericaIf things go as Richard Branson hopes, today will go down as one of the most important days in human history. This afternoon in New Mexico Branson and the state’s governor Susana Martinez opened Spaceport America. This is the first of Virgin Galactic’s planned spaceports from which they’ll launch actual, commercial flights which will take passenger’s outside Earth’s atmosphere.

As reported by Virgin, flying overhead during the dedication ceremony were two of their craft, WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. The first, WhiteKnightTwo will be used to prepare passengers for the rigors of space travel using atmosphere aerobatics. It also functions as sort of a mothership for their spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo. SpaceShipTwo is the actual vehicle meant to take people in to space.

Here’s a look at SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnight, joined together and parked at Spaceport America:

When Branson announced commercial space travel as his goal a few years ago, I’m not sure the world took it seriously. It sounded like the wild ideas of a billionaire with too much money and not enough sense. But here we are and, commercial space travel is on the verge of becoming a reality… at least if you’re very rich.

Virgin Galactic expects to begin commercial flights into space some time in 2012. They even have contracts with NASA, to do some of the work America’s national space program can no longer do, now that they’ve shut down their shuttle fleet.

Comments

  • Billy

    “at least if you’re very rich.”  But of course .. you gotta know the little person will always be left out of the equation lol .. woooooohoooooo

    • JT

      Not at all.  The prices will go down eventually.  Air travel was extremely expensive at first too.  Computers used to be so expensive the average person couldn’t afford one. This is just the beginning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Billy-Langley/100000738887730 Billy Langley via Facebook

    as usual, this will only really be available to the “high and mighty” .. aka very rich people ..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Tew/628326752 Patrick Tew via Facebook

    Woo!

  • Janet Loving via Facebook

    Look at it this way Billy, like any new thing these ships most likely have a few, well… bugs to work out. Let them use the rich as guinea pigs, before the company finally makes it affordable to the middle class, lol!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Tim.J.Cooke Tim Cooke via Facebook

    Im in

  • http://www.facebook.com/giantfreakinrobot Giant Freakin Robot via Facebook

    Billy Langley This is just the beginning. The price will go down. It’s not that they’re trying to price poor people out, that’s just how much it costs them to operate right now. But air travel was really expensive at first too, and only for the rich. That changed, so will this. This is step 1.

  • Menachem Rephun via Facebook

    Great, now humans can start destroying other planets just like we’ve done to earth

  • Menachem Rephun via Facebook

    I want to start a colony on Pluto that consists only of me and a vast assortment of video games and comic books that will occupy me for as long as my oxygen holds out

  • Menachem Rephun via Facebook

    also i will only sign up for this space program if i am guaranteed priority access to the swimsuit model planet. As payment Richard Branson can have his choice of either my expired library card or a stale corn chip thats been sitting in my pocket for the past week. I’m sure we’ll come to an understanding

  • Menachem Rephun via Facebook

    But seriously where exactly would the spaceport take you? its not like theres a nice hotel on mercury where they can drop you off. *lands on vast arid desert with three headed alien dripping acidic saliva* well here we are. Thanks for that three million dollars you invested! No wait I didn’t ask- gets devoured by space beast

  • http://www.facebook.com/giantfreakinrobot Giant Freakin Robot via Facebook

    I think for now, basically you’re paying for being able to experience real zero G… and that’s worth it. Also they’re talking about taking people up to the international space station.

  • Brent Cote via Facebook

    Well, I wonder if I could afford it?

  • Shawntel Cote via Facebook

    SpaceShipTwo???

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucy-Troke/612094851 Lucy Troke

    even if i were rich i wouldnt pay out couple hundred grand for just 7 – 9 mins in zero G. cos doesnt iss take 90 mins to go all way round the planet, so if it costs $300,000 for 9 mins. wonder how much 90 mins will cos u, i havent got that many kidneys to sell u know!! how well, its a start i guess like 1900′s airplanes. :) at least it in my lifetime!