We, here at MOU Blog, love looking into the future...long into the future...
And we believe that every business should have future plans of up to 100 years.
Well, we've always had an interest in the Virgin Group, not only because of its successful partnerships and acquisitions, but because of its sometimes eccentric but very futuristic founder, Richard Branson.
For the past 15 years he's been working at trying to fly people to outer space, commercially (space tourism) and finally it seems as if his dream will shortly (within the next 3 years) become reality.
The space ship was released from its mothership "Eve", on Monday, at an altitude of 45,000 ft.
(Normal commercial planes fly at altitudes of between 30,000 - 37,000 ft.).
[The process should work like this:
The spaceship is attached to the mothership, which provides the rocket power to get the spaceship up into the air, then, eventually, out out of the earth's atmosphere and against the force of gravity, into outer space.
The mothership then releases the spaceship in space. The spaceship then smoothly glides in space (whilst being manned by pilots).
The spaceship then reattaches to the mothership for re-entry to earth.
At that time it became the first privately funded manned spacecraft to exceed 100km altitude, and the first privately funded reusable manned spacecraft].
According to article,"First commercial space ship tested", the flight had two (2) main goals:
1)To carry out a clean release of the spaceship from its mothership
2) For the pilots to free fly and glide back and land at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
Both goals were successfully achieved.
One of the pilots, Pete Seibold, said that the VSS Enterprise was a real joy to fly considering that it's not only meant to be a spaceship, but one the worl'd highest altitude gliders.
Virgin Galactic is currently booking people for space travel. Tickets cost US $200,000, with a mandatory deposit of US $20,000.
So far they have had 370 customer deposits totalling $50 million.
What about you?
If you had the money, would you be willing to fly commercially in space?
Please click on the links in this post in order to learn more about the VSS Enterprise and Virgin Galactic.
(I would like to thank Virgin Galactic for the use of their Flickr inset photo entitled, "SpaceShipTwo with wings in feathered position").
1) Article,"Spaceships - Virgin Galactic's vehicles", via Virgin Galactic website, accessed October 15,2010
2) Virgin Galactic's website, accessed October 15,2010
3) Answer to question, "What altitude do passenger aircraft usually fly at?", via Answers.com,accessed on October 15,2010.
4) Burt Raton biography, via Answers.com, accessed October 15,2010
5) Wikipedia article,"SpaceShipOne", accessed October 15,2010
6) Article, "First commercial space ship tested", via Breitbart.com, October 11,2010
7) Article, "VSS Enterprise Completes First Manned Glide Flight," via VirginGalactic.com, October 10,2010