Branson Rolls Out Space Plane

Craft could make first commercial flight—at $200K per ticket—by decade's end
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2008 5:00 PM CDT
Branson Rolls Out Space Plane
Branson and Scaled Composites LLC founder Burt Rutan wave from the mothership.   (AP Photo)

At a remote airfield in the Mojave Desert today, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson unveiled the flagship of his new venture, an aircraft that will carry the first passenger space rocket to its launch height of 48,000 feet, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tickets are going for $200,000-plus, with the maiden voyage possible before decade’s end.

The Burt Rutan-designed Eve (named for Branson’s mother) will carry the 8-passenger spaceship to its launch height; from there, four minutes of weightlessness before landing much as a normal plane. Branson says he’ll take his family on the maiden passenger voyage, and 250 wealthy adventurers have already reserved their seats. (Read more Richard Branson stories.)

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