Branson’s move into space tourism

Spacplane It’s either the zietgeist or it’s just herding in both journalism and the blogosphere–
I lean toward the latter, but following on the post on flying cars below, there’s this from the BBC.

“The news that Sir Richard Branson has signed a deal to take paying passengers into space suggests the Ansari X-Prize has achieved its goal of bringing space tourism closer to the masses. One of the aims behind the $10m (£5.7m) challenge was to galvanise enthusiasm for private manned spaceflight, thereby bringing ‘out of this world’ tourism within reach of ordinary people.

In the past, space travel has been open only to the privileged few; either government-back astronauts or millionaires with enough spare cash to book a flight on a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station.

If and when the Virgin venture – dubbed Virgin Galactic – begins offering its first spaceflights, the tickets will still be expensive. A sub-orbital flight is expected initially to cost about £100,000.”