Virgin: Irish article “entirely inaccurate”

Virgin Galactic has responded to yesterday’s report that the company is only accepting US citizens for its flights by, in effect, saying the article is completely off base. The Irish Independent article claimed that an Irishman living in England, Cyril Bennis, had been told by the company that it was currently only accepting US citizens. A Virgin official said Monday that Bennis had inquired about flying non-US citizens on its flights and was told that they were accepting deposits from Americans and others alike “because we fully intend to be able to fly these pioneering people”. (That would include, of course, Sir Richard Branson, who has previously said he and his family would go on the first SpaceShipTwo commercial flight.) The company will do so “in a way which fully complies with all applicable laws and regulations including those which relate to US export controls”; as noted yesterday, there’s already precedent for allowing spaceflight participants to be trained for such flights without going through ITAR-related paperwork. “Unfortunately we were not contacted by the Independent before the piece was published and so had no chance to correct an entirely inaccurate report,” the Virgin official said.

3 comments to Virgin: Irish article “entirely inaccurate”

  • John Leonard

    What does it mean “…..others alike”? The way this response reads, it’s as if it is only Americans and a few others, a chosen few, that it is not open to everyone. Virgin Galactic needs to offer a categorical confirmation that anyone who is willing to pay and meets the medical criteria can go, otherwise there will be even more confusion and ill founded rumours.

  • Jeff Foust

    Mr. Leonard:

    The phrase “from Americans and others alike” means that Virgin is signing up and accepting deposits from both US and non-US citizens. There should be no other meaning read into that statement based on what the company has stated.

  • James Kirk

    When they book an Iranian citizen I will believe the work “alike”…

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