Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Video: Is Virgin Galatic Becoming Profitable?

SpaceToys.com Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Hat Tip: Space Pragmatism)

Despite receiving more than its fair share of spot light in the private space industry, Virgin Galactic seems to be doing fairly well despite the fact that its market is quickly becoming filled with competitors.

While other space tourism companies remain silent on how many customers they have, Virgin Galactic does not feel shy revealing how many space tourism clients they have signed up.

(MSNBC) At present, Virgin Galactic has $20 million in deposits, said Will Whitehorn, the company’s president. "We just surpassed the 200-customer level in terms of people who have actually made a financial commitment, put their money down and signed their contracts," Whitehorn said.

Space travel registrations on the Virgin Galactic Web site number about 82,000 expressions of interest, Whitehorn said. "Those registrations are genuine...with quite a number prepared to sign in the next three or four years. But they do want to see a finished spaceship before they are prepared to commit. I don't blame them for that. We're hoping to have a working spaceship that's actually commencing spaceflight in its test mode by the middle of 2008."

With the private sector gaining respect in the media, private space flights should help "whet the appetite" for the cosmos, helping to make space a reality for the general population.

Virgin Galactic is offering rides to the final frontier for around $200,000, and they have released a video highlighting why that money would be better spent in the heavens than on earth.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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