Commercial Space Travel Coming in 2014: Richard Branson Predicts
The British billionaire serial entrepreneur is also the founder of Virgin Galactic, the company that plans to make space travel available to the masses. During an interview with the Business Insider, the 63-year-old said that although it will take some time for Branson's big plans to come to fruition, an announcement could be made within the next four months:
"We do have another idea, which we're going to announce in about four months time, which will enable people to travel into space very cheaply - not everybody, but quite a few people who never expected to go into space, but we're going to unveil that in about four months time."
Virgin Galactic is currently offering its customers to pay $250,000 for a ride on board the SS2 and the spaceplane is scheduled to take its first commercial flight in early 2014.
During 2014, Virgin aims to utilize a total of five SS2 spaceplanes to commence its passenger-carrying service, with bookings already having commenced.
The SS2 is an air-launched craft, which will be delivered to an altitude of 50,000 feet by the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. SS2 will then be released at this height, where upon it will climb to over 360,000 feet, propelled by its own rocket engine.