Battlestar (Virgin) Galactica

An article in the British newspaper The Independent last week about Richard Branson’s new climate prize mentioned that Branson risks being branded a hypocrite because his ownership of a fossil fuel-burning airline and “for setting up a company, Virgin Galactica, that intends to use the aircraft technology that won the X-prize to build up a space tourism industry where individual tickets for a 90-second ride in space will cost £100,000 each – as well as burning thousands of gallons of rocket fuel.” Wait a sec: Virgin Galactica? Must have been a random typo. However, a companion piece by the same author also uses the “Virgin Galactica” name twice in the same paragraph. Has Virgin Galactic changed its name, perhaps in a bid to ride the popularity of the TV show Battlestar Galactica?

The answer is almost certainly no: the company’s web site still uses the Virgin Galactic name, and that’s how the company was identifying itself as recently as last week at the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference. Still, it’s amusing to see that the two Independent articles aren’t the only times an “a” has been appended to the end of Virgin Galactic’s name. A search turns up a couple of other examples in the last month: an article in the University of Cincinnati newspaper, The News-Record, about a visit to campus by former NASA Ames director Scott Hubbard, who was quoted as saying “Privately funded rockets are being made … such as Virgin Galactica”; and a Fox News article, since pulled from the web, that mentioned in passing that Stephen Hawking announced “his plans to tour space in 2009 aboard one of Richard Branson’s planned Virgin Galactica space flights.”

4 comments to Battlestar (Virgin) Galactica

  • Battlestar (Virgin) Galactica…

  • Chance

    This may be irrelevant, but as a Galactica fan the message boards I frequent have an extremely large number of UK fans on them. I believe it may be an even more popular show there than here in the US. It wouldn’t surprise me that this is a common mistake for reporters to make, I’ve made it myself a few times.

  • Peter Shearer

    British call things whatever they damn well please no matter how incorrect they Odviously are! “I’m renting a FLAT” flat what? And for heavens sake, it’s an elevator, not a LIFT! A lift is what you get after too many drinks at a bar. USA invented it, we named it!

    90 second space flight? Not really. The flight is 1.5 hours… although during Mike Melvill’s first space flight he was technically only above 62 miles for 1 second! :-)

  • brett

    for Peter Shearers post..

    yes its a long time that he posted but i wanna get my 2 pence worth.

    yes us english do call things whatever we want, please do not forget that we have buildings older than the united states and that you came from here to start with ! you invented nothing ! (no offence to the educated americans out there)

    its a shame that incompitent idiots like this are born ! remember the next time you type about english peter that you are too typing in english ! not american , so have some respect next time.

    as for virgin galactica its a fantastic idea. shame about the price tag

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