Suborbital trip too dangerous for auction

The Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press reported this week that organizers of a charity auction have removed a suborbital spaceflight trip out of concerns it was too dangerous. The auction, part of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, would have included a spaceflight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. However, in the wake of last July’s industrial accident at Mojave Airport that killed three Scaled Composites employees, the organizers dropped the prize from the list, deeming it too dangerous. “I just didn’t think it was a good idea,” festival chairman Don Gunther told the News-Press. Auction bidders will have to settle for less dangerous prizes like a pair of motorcycles, a Maserati, or trips to China, South America, Dubai, Morocco, and South Africa.

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