Virgin Galactic Customers Enjoy Early Taste of Microgravity

Joanne Le Bon in microgravity. (Credit: Steve Boxall)
Joanne Le Bon in microgravity. (Credit: Steve Boxall)

As part of its gathering of future spaceflight participants in Mojave on Sept. 25, Virgin Galactic also scheduled a series of space-related events and activities throughout the week for those coming in from the four corners of the globe. These included an after party at the Endeavour exhibit in Los Angeles, centrifuge training at NASTAR in Pennsylvania, tours of the Mount Wilson Observatory and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and microgravity parabolic rides aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE (above).

A press release from ZERO-G follows after the break.


Brightman Space Tourism Trip in Jeopardy, or Russian Negotiating Tactic?

Russian officials are making noises that British sopranonaut Sarah Brightman might not take a joy ride to the International Space Station after all. It’s difficult to tell whether there are serious issues with the upcoming flight, or whether this is a Russian negotiating tactic.

Roscosmos Head Vladimir Popovkin told reporters on Friday that Brightman intends to fly to ISS but that the space agency hasn’t made a final decision to let her do so. He expected officials would make a decision during the second half of next year.

“We need to provide young cosmonauts with flight practice,” Popovkin reportedly said, apparently in reference to a group of eight cosmonaut trainees recently selected by the Russian space agency.


Space Tourist Laliberte’s Backup Barrett Runs Exclusive Montana Lodge


An interesting story about what Barbara Barrett does when she isn’t in a Star City simulator training as space tourist Guy Laliberte’s backup . The former ambassador to Finland and her husband, former Intel CEO and chairman Craig Barrett, run the exclusive Triple Creek Ranch, a high-end, all-inclusive lodge in Darby, Mont.

CNN interviewed Craig Barrett for a story:

After revolutionizing the chip industry and helping the world speed up, Barrett has decided to focus on getting people to slow down. On May 20, the date he stepped down as Intel’s chairman, Barrett, 70, gained a new title: innkeeper at his Triple Creek Ranch, a high-end, all-inclusive lodge in Darby, Mont., that he has owned since 1993.

“I’ve always been a work hard, play hard advocate,” says Barrett. “It’s a place to leave the other side behind for a while.”