Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Virgin Galactic's First Commercial Spaceflight

The future of NASA, the U.S.'s only avenue into space for decades, seems uncertain following the grounding of the space-shuttle fleet. But while NASA pulled back in 2010, private and commercial space travel took one giant leap forward. In October, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic flew the world's first commercial spacecraft over the world's first commercial spaceport. Called the V.S.S. Enterprise, the craft made a ceremonial trip from its runway in New Mexico on Oct. 22. The price of actually flying is going to be steep, with estimates hovering around $200,000 per flight (which will get the buyer about an hour of space time). But the costs are expected to drop, and in 50 years, maybe we'll be taking a trip to the Hilton on the moon.