Venture into space tourism launched

Sir Richard Branson's launch pad completed

Published 18 October 2011 in News

Sir Richard Branson today heralded the the completion of his spaceport by abseiling down one side of it while swigging champagne straight from its bottle.

The building, in the New Mexico desert, is the world's first commercial spaceport  that has been built from scratch.

Test flights are on schedule for next year with hopes of the first Virgin Galactic commercial flight to take after soon after.

A flight fare will be around £127,000 and this buys two-and-a-half hours of flight time and five minutes of weightlessness.

Branson described the completed spaceport as "absoulutely magnificent". "It is literally out of this world, and that’s what we’re aiming at creating," he added.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the governor of New Mexico attended the luanch with 148 other invitees.

Branson said he and his children would be among the first passengers, but naturally, he wants to be assured that he could bring them home safely.


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