Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn Talks Space Tourism

Virgin Galactic's VMS Eve during its third test flight in March.
Virgin Galactic's VMS Eve during its third test flight in March.

AMEInfo Radio has a two-part interview ( Part 1 and Part II) with Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn. Not much new, just a few details and assertions:

  • Economy is not affecting sales very much; at $200,000 apiece, you either have the money to go or you don’t;
  • Just sold 3 tickets at a Grand Prix event in Bahrain;
  • The experience will take require four days for the training and spaceflight;
  • Unlike Soyuz orbital flights, SpaceShipTwo doesn’t require months of technical and language training (of course, you’re talking about 4-5 minutes of weightlessness vs. 12-14 days).
  • Some Virgin employees will go into space as part of test flight program prior to paying passengers;
  • Very interested in flying out of the Persian Gulf, where there is a lot of interest in flying (12 tickets thus far);
  • United States is biggest area, but also a lot of interest in the UK;
  • In some cases, the nationals of countries will be the first ones from those nations to go into space;
  • In 10-15 years, space tourism will be “regularlized” with 4-5 spaceports around the world conducting flights; will carry more people into space in the first year than have gone there since 1961.