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Tue 13 Feb 2007 05:47 PM

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Virgin: Space flights will circle globe in an hour

Virgin's Branson predicts that spaceships will fly passengers from London to Sydney in 30 minutes.

GCC airports might have to think again about becoming transit hubs for passengers flying from Europe to Asia.

In the future, commercial spaceships might shoot people straight over the top, from the US to Asia, or Europe to Australasia.

Sir Richard Branson believes that spaceships could one day be zipping passengers from London to Australia in half an hour.

In an interview with
The Telegraph

, the Virgin entrepreneur and billionaire said that space project Virgin Galactic could lead to the construction of "almost completely benign spaceships that one day will be the airlines of the future".

Virgin Galactic promises to offer sub-orbital space flights (and later orbital flights) to paying passengers when it begins operating next year, for around $200,000.

Branson, who is planning to be on the inaugural space flight himself, has rebutted claims that rocketing people into space goes against his own environmentally-friendly beliefs.

"The spaceships are built out of carbon fibre rather than heavy metal," he says. "The CO2 cost of sending someone into space is marginally less than sending them across the Atlantic."

He explains that a lightweight ‘mothership' will take the Galactic ship to 60,000 feet, where it will take off. "We hope to do London to Australia in half an hour outside the air, in orbit."

He also pointed out that airlines only cause a tiny fraction of global CO2 emissions and has pledged to use all profits from his travel businesses to tackle global warming.

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John 12 years ago

If I had my health and the money I'd be first in line to take a flight! Earn my astronaut wings! LOL.

Sheldon 12 years ago

interesting i'd say...  how many air miles would i get per trip ?