Christian Davenport on the feat of soaring above the 50-miles up (!) threshold:
The company’s ultimate goal is to build a series of spaceports around the globe, “and we’re operating multiple times a week at each one of those and enabling tens of thousands of people to experience space,” George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic’s chief executive, said in a recent interview.
Eventually, the company would like to turn those spaceports into “future hubs for a network of intercontinental transportation nodes” where the spaceships can transport people across the globe in a matter of hours.
In the long term, he said, the company wants to fly “into major airports because we have a winged vehicle that can integrate smoothly in traffic patterns,” Whitesides said.
That goal is still “many years out,” he said. “But that’s the evolution—so that at the end of it you’ve built up, step-by-step, a capability to go between continents in an hour or two.”
It's easy to be cynical about basically everything these days. But the fact that private companies are pushing this envelope is amazing. Personally, I'm not sure I need to experience space, but the ability to travel anywhere in the planet in a couple of hours definitely appeals.Read more...