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Waspie_Dwarf

Virgin Galactic to reach space in weeks

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Waspie_Dwarf

Virgin Galactic to reach space in 'weeks not months'

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Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has said that Virgin Galactic is "weeks" away from its first trip into space.

"We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years," the firm's founder and chief executive told news website CNBC.

He said the firm would be taking people into space "not too long after" that.

arrow3.gif  Read More: BBC News

 

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MissJatti

Ohhhh woow, its not like a middle class person can ever be on one of these ever

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Waspie_Dwarf
59 minutes ago, MissJatti said:

Ohhhh woow, its not like a middle class person can ever be on one of these ever

That's what some people said about jet liners when they first started... but they didn't understand how technology and basic economics works either.

All new forms of transport start off highly priced. As they become successful prices are driven down.

The reason that ordinary people can fly around the world today is because the rich "jet setters" did so in the 1950's. As jet flight became more routine prices fell. As prices fell more people could afford to fly. As more people could afford to fly flights became more routine.

The reason that ordinary people will be able to afford flights into space in decades to come is because the wealthy will be doing it now.

Already we have seen a massive fall in cost, and a large rise in those that can afford a spaceflight. Previously the only way to become a space tourist was to buy a ticket to fly on a Soyuz to the ISS. 7 people have done this (one of them twice). They paid between  $20 million and $40 million for the privilege. 

Virgin Galactic has already sold 700 tickets at $200,000 - $250,000 each. That's a hunder fold decrease in price and a hundred fold increase in space tourists already (once they have flown).

As Virgin Galactic intend to eventually have a fleet of spacecraft, and as Blue Origin will offer a competing service tourist spaceflights will become more routine and, in real terms, prices will fall.

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Derek Willis
2 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Already we have seen a massive fall in cost, and a large rise in those that can afford a spaceflight. Previously the only way to become a space tourist was to buy a ticket to fly on a Soyuz to the ISS. 7 people have done this (one of them twice). They paid between  $20 million and $40 million for the privilege. 

Virgin Galactic has already sold 700 tickets at $200,000 - $250,000 each. That's a hunder fold decrease in price and a hundred fold increase in space tourists already (once they have flown).

You aren't comparing like for like. The seven space tourists you mention spent a week or two in orbit. The Virgin Galactic flights are a few minutes of zero-g during a sub-orbital flight. So it isn't really correct to say there has been a hundred fold decrease in price.

I am sure the price will come down - once the $600 million investment has been recovered in however many years. I think many people would pay $10,000 for the trip of a lifetime, but I doubt it will ever be as cheap as airfares across the Atlantic, or wherever. In that case, it will remain essentially a middle-class activity - as was flying on Concorde.

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Waspie_Dwarf
1 hour ago, Derek Willis said:

You aren't comparing like for like. The seven space tourists you mention spent a week or two in orbit. The Virgin Galactic flights are a few minutes of zero-g during a sub-orbital flight. So it isn't really correct to say there has been a hundred fold decrease in price.

Whilst that is true, the point I made, that it was the only way for tourists to experience space is valid.

As it was the only way for tourists to experience spaceflight, and as there is now a way that is 100 times cheaper it is still a valid argument. 

1 hour ago, Derek Willis said:

In that case, it will remain essentially a middle-class activity - as was flying on Concorde.

Bingo.  Now go and read the post I was arguing against.

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Derek Willis
1 minute ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Whilst that is true, the point I made, that it was the only way for tourists to experience space is valid.

As it was the only way for tourists to experience spaceflight, and as there is now a way that is 100 times cheaper it is still a valid argument. 

Bingo.  Now go and read the post I was arguing against.

Hmm, I think you are being a tad slippery there.

I took MissJatti's post to be ironic. You know, as in only middle class people will be able to afford to fly on Virgin Galactic. Which is why I was agreeing with her.

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paperdyer

Even if the price becomes "affordable" for the "middle class" (which really needs redefining)  I doubt I'll live to see it.  At 65+ I just don't think the price will drop that quickly for me to go.

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toast

I have no idea how much the operational costs for these flights are but I would say they are pretty high so I dont think that the tickets will be under 20K in future. 20K x 6 (seats) x 4 flights per day per shuttle will be 480k per day and I would say thats needed to make the bizz profitable also under the consideration how many hundred of millions have been invested in R&D, air/spacecrafts and the Spaceport America A/P.

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