New Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo set for February 2016 Reveal

Eager to take a trip to space within your lifetime? So long as you’ve got the money for it, the Virgin Galactic team are still working hard to bring commercial space flight to the (well-paying) masses and after the tragic accident in 2014 which killed one pilot and hospitalised another, the team appear to be making progress working on the latest version of SpaceShipTwo; their revolutionary new space plane.

“I think we are in a much better place than we might have expected in the period immediately after the accident, and that’s because our team came together, our customers stuck with us, and honestly we believe that the vehicle itself is sound.” Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said in an interview.

The new plane is set to be revealed in February 2016, with test flights set to begin shortly afterwards. This is interesting, given that Branson has been criticised in the past for being too aggressive with the planning of Virgin Galactic, perhaps even rushing things. However, with enough money and a big enough team, the gamble is starting to pay off and with people 700 already having tickets booked for many of the first flights, it’s going to be interesting to see just how long it is before the first paying customers take off.

There’s clearly still a lot of work to do, and prices are obviously going to be expensive for the flights, but would you take a trip with Virgin Galactic if you could? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Virgin Joining Race To Accessible Internet With “Most Satellites Ever”

Virgin is joining the race to provide internet access everywhere by “creating the world’s largest satellite constellation”. Joining the ranks of Facebook with its internet.org and Google with its Project Loon, Virgin aims to provide high speed internet to “billions”.

Virgin founder Richard Branson said in a blog post that the company will be utilising “Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne programme” to make satellite launches cheaper and easier than ever.

“Delighted to share news of an incredibly exciting project that could transform the world: we are creating a new constellation of satellites to make high speed internet and telephony available to billions of people who don’t currently have access.” 

Together with Qualcomm, Virgin has formed OneWeb Ltd, a company that will utilise the technology and infrastructure built for Virgin Galactic to get so many satellites into space. They say that the initiative will eventually provide internet access to three billion people who could not access it before.

This project is one of a number of global internet initiatives, like Facebook’s internet.org mobile internet project and Google’s Project Loon, which aims to provide remote internet access via giant weather balloons. Microsoft also pitched in recently with its plan to use TV spectrum in India.

Source: Virgin 

Virgin Galactic To Start Accepting Bitcoin For Space Flights

Richard Branson has given his approval for the crypto-currency, BitCoin. The digital currency is becoming more and more main stream by the day and it is possible to pay for all kinds of worldly goods that now range from a tummy tuck to a trip to space! So long as you have enough of them of course.

“All of our future astronauts are pioneers in their own right, and this is one more way to be forward-thinking,” Branson said, in a blogpost for the company. And not only that, but a female flight attendant from Hawaii actually purchased a Virgin Galactic ticket using BitCoin on Friday! She picked a good time too, because the value of BitCoin is pretty high right now.

With flights costing a hefty $250,000 per person, Virgin Galactic isn’t exactly cheap and having more options to pay could never hurt. The value of Bitcoin will be worked out at time of purchase from USD to make sure everyone pays a fair price.

“I have invested in some BitCoins myself and find it fascinating how a whole new global currency has been created,” Branson said. “For people who can afford to invest a little in BitCoins, it’s worth looking into.”

It nice to see more official and positive things come out about BitCoin, a currency format that has a dark shadow over it from being a popular choice for criminals.

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Guardian.