Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Enterprise Away

The VSS Enterprise, the first spacecraft built for Richard Branson's commercial spaceflight company Virgin Galactic, completed its maiden test flight earlier this week. The Enterprise is attached to a carrier plane that will eventually take it to 60,000 feet before separation, when the spacecraft will fire rockets to send it above the atmosphere. For this test flight, the Enterprise remained attached to the carrier and was only taken to 45,000 feet. The testing program will continue into 2011 before Virgin Galactic begins its commercial schedule of one flight per week carrying six passengers paying $200,000 a pop. Branson hopes that in addition to space tourism, Virgin Galactic will eventually deal in point-to-point travel using sub-orbital flight paths that would be drastically quicker than traditional aircraft routes. But the real endgame comes in 2021, when Branson's conquest of media, telecommunications, and commercial travel will finally allow him to possess 100% of the earth's pussy. More details here.

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