Virgin invites punters into space

Mr Branson, or Rich to his friends, announced his plans to realise the dream of intergalactic pleasure-cruising with his intergalactic spacecraft rece

Mr Branson, or Rich to his friends, announced his plans to realise the dream of intergalactic pleasure-cruising with his intergalactic spacecraft recently but we’ve just managed to get a pic of how the Seymour Powell-designed interior might shake out. Rich and his Virgin billions have signed an agreement with Burt Rutan, designer of the SpaceShipOne, to jointly build the Galactic Spacecraft.Space… SPACE!The SpaceShipOne vessel flew at 328,491 feet (400 feet into space in scientific terms) during a 90-minute flight, effectively proving that recreational, manned space flight was now a very real possibility.Here’s the real-world part, though. Rich has revealed that the technology to power his craft, currently being developed in the Mojave desert, could also be used to fly people from London to Sydney in half an hour. Air traffic control might have a few headaches sorting that out, of course.The flights are scheduled for 2009 and 200 people have already put down deposits against the $200,000 cost of the half-hour zero-gravity jaunt. Incredibly, it appears one Virgin Atlantic customer has already accrued the 2 million points needed to qualify for a freebie ticket.

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Virgin Intergalactic SpacecraftPrice: $200,000 On sale: 2009 Contact: Promotional videoRelated stories:Flying car to be launched in 2009Ride a U-boat to work