Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShip Two : First Commercial Passenger Space Ship

Back in September, two things happened relating to space travel for the private sector. First, I posted about the proposed 2010 opening of Spaceport America in New Mexico. Then, I promised my wife that we would be on a flight into outer space on September 17, 2017. This week, Virgin Galactic officially unveiled their commercial ship, SpaceShip Two.

virgin_galactic.png

I nabbed the above image from OhGizmo!, who had this to say:

SpaceShipTwo is designed to ferry 6 civilian passengers and 2 crewmembers 68 miles above the surface of the earth, where they’ll spend a few precious minutes in weightlessness, drinking in the view, before descending back to the ground at a peak force of 6 gravities over 20 seconds. All for just $200,000.

That’s about the price I figured these trips would start at, but barely getting a peek from space for that price is still an “I did that” trip for the super wealthy. This is why I set my proposed travel date to 2017. I figured ten years gives any companies involved plenty of time to get their ducks in a row. By “ducks”, I mean:

  • – Work out any kinks so I’m not exploding on launch
  • – Find ways to bring the price down
  • – Find ways to increase the experience
  • – More frequent (convenient) flights

By 2017, I think the experience should be much more substantial, we’ll get to take off from from the new Spaceport America, and the price tag should actually fit within my budget. I feel like a little kid who’s parents just came back with the first of the Christmas presents, only Christmas is still nine and a half years away and I’ll have to pay probably $25,000-$50,000 to open my present. Still, thinking about taking that trip makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more excited about it, here’s a video simulating what the trip should be like:

So here’s a question for you. Supposing a trip into space on SpaceShip Two in 2017 would cost you $25,000, you had that saved up, and the trip included a full orbit around earth, would you go?

Author: Joe Colburn

Joe Colburn is a software engineer specializing in PHP and a technology enthusiast. Always eager to dive into new and exciting things, Joe writes about anything technology related news and products that he thinks you will also be excited about. Find Joe Colburn on Google+ or by any of the links below.

19 thoughts on “Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShip Two : First Commercial Passenger Space Ship”

  1. First off, that’s a beautiful spacecraft they have designed. Now to your question. Am sure if I had the money I would love to do space travel, BUT, I’d rather they drop us off on the moon for a day or something in the process. I mean like “man I flew into space and was weightless for an hour!” yeah so BUT “I’ve walked on that moon you’re looking at, and here’s the video if you doubt me”. Now that would be COOOL. Good luck with your plan.

    3rdworldblogger’s last blog post..Niche Blogging – then What are You Searching For?

  2. Jason:I definitely need it to be “affordable” before I’ll be convinced to do it, but that’s part of my ongoing goal: Be able to afford space travel by 2017. I’ll save you a seat.

  3. 3rdworldblogger: I couldn’t agree more. I would love if they could take us to the moon by then. There’s been talk over the years about building space hotels and that type of thing on the moon, and I still think that will happen one day and we’ll be able to reserve a room for a weekend on the moon, but I think that’ll be more like 2030 or later.

    Of course, if the space flight endeavors really kick into high gear over the next decade, some kind of space hotel concept could be much sooner. After all, we’re supposed to have a freakin’ space port completed and ready for use in 2010, so we’re getting there.

  4. Webduck: I have no idea when Star Trek came out (not much of a fan), but my wife just about grinned her face right off when they showed the Star Trek movie trailer right before Cloverfield.

  5. Les: I don’t want to reach the end of my life having never gone into space if the opportunity becomes available and within reach. Also congrats on the non-smoking bit. I used Chantix to kick the habit and it made it so easy, although I still think about it now and then (4 months, 3 days).

  6. joe,
    Our Malaysian government just sent our first astronaut to space last year with Russian and NASA and stay for several days at ISS (International Space S?)

    They just paid hundred million Ringgit which equal to 20 -30 million dollar for that trip. Of course they did some RnD up there :)

    If this Spaceship2 can bring us up there, for only 600 thousand Ringgit, wow
    everyone can go to space now..I can be no the 2 MALAYSIAN that go to space
    hahahahahah

  7. Yeah, I’d go, but maybe I’d wait until the first space station hotel is built (and tested for kinks & spacebugs & stuff). I probably need to wait 50 more years or so, but that just gives me another reason to sign up as a guinea pig for the dozens of Methuselah projects that’s bound to be out there.

    That’s actually a good question:

    Would you guys risk horrible, painful death for a chance of extending your lifespan by, say, a factor of ten?

  8. fuubi: I think a space hotel will come much sooner than 50 years. To answer your question… For me, it would depend on the quality of life for those extra 500+ years. If I could be this age for about 450 years, I think that would be OK.

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