On December 7, 2009 Virgin Galactic unveiled its new spaceships – yes, spaceships. The new year promises to be one that will offer perhaps the biggest advancement that we have seen for centuries. True, it has taken the sum total of technology that has been developed to date to be able to get here, but in context: in current terms of the advancement of technology, it has only been a mere 200 years since the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. It took man 10,000 years to get to that stage, and only a blink of an archeological eye later we have commercial space travel. The design of the Virgin ships minimizes the impact of G force on the body and allows passengers to leave their seats and enjoy their period of weightlessness in space.
Expensive? Absolutely – tickets will be priced at USD$200,000. But remember the $10,000 price tags of the first Apple computers? Before we know it, we could all be wintering on the Sea of Tranquility or taking ski holidays on the Mountains of the Moon. See this post for photos.
It is expected that within the first year of commercial operations Virgin Galactic will enable 500 people to fulfil their dream of becoming Astronauts; in the last 4 decades the world has seen fewer than 500 Astronauts.
Gallery: Virgin Galactic