Miscellaneous news

Some brief items in recent days associated with space tourism:

  • Virgin Galactic is making inroads in India, establishing relationships with travel agencies there. Virgin is charging 8 million rupees for a suborbital flight, which works out to just over $200,000 at current exchange rates.
  • Back in the US, how is one travel agency selling Virgin Galactic flights? “Everybody’s been to Iceland,” said travel agent Angie Lepley of Tangerine Travel, one of Virgin’s accredited agents. “This is all unknown.” (For the record, I haven’t been to Iceland or space.) As for the risks of spaceflight, “She never considered that selling space flights could have a downside,” the Seattle Times reported.
  • It’s hard to believe, but Richard Branson actually oversells the suborbital spaceflight experience in a speech in Boston. “You’ll go from (zero) to 4,000 miles an hour in 10 seconds – which will be quite a ride,” he said. The acceleration required for that change in speed is a bit beyond the likely capabilities of SpaceShipTwo—and that’s a good thing for the health and comfort of the passengers.
  • If you’re looking for a way to make a space flight affordable, Russian banks may be willing to give you a good deal on a loan. Just make sure the loan is in dollars or euros or rubles, and not QUIDs, possibly the most inane idea associated with space for quite some time.

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