Virgin suggests spaceships for long-haul flights


11 May 2009

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Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s branch of Virgin that aims to make space tourism commonplace and commercially viable, has suggested that its spaceships not only be used for bringing us closer to the heavens, but also to get rid of long-haul flights.

Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn told the Reuters news agency that a space flight from Ireland or the UK to Australia could be cut down to only two and a half hours in length.

It may be achievable, but is this affordable? Speaking with siliconrepublic.com last year, Virgin Galactic’s commercial director Stephen Attenborough compared the affordability of space travel in the near future to airlines in the Seventies and Eighties.

"Before the 747 came on the scene, even flights from Sydney to London had ticket prices that were about the same as the price of a terraced house at the time," he said.

For the rest of the siliconrepublic.com interview with Virgin Galactic’s Stephen Attenborough click here.

By Marie Boran