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On the Newsstand: Virgin Voyage . . . in Space

Virgin Galactic may be close to making space tourism a reality, according to the latest issue of The Economist. The firm just unveiled its plan to give customers with a couple hundred grand a trip to outer space. And there may be more exciting things to come. The article claims that a system similar to Virgin's could be used to launch space planes from one side of the earth to the other in 90 minutes! All for the right price, of course.

The magazine believes that access to space, and thus the other side of earth, will revolutionize our attitudes toward space travel.

For many years the question has been why taxpayers should pay to put people into space. The point of private-sector space travel is that the world will rapidly and accurately come to a conclusion about what space is for. The invisible hand may, indeed, point upwards. Then again, it may not.

If it does point upwards, all I can say is — wow! I don't know whether I like this or not. It seems like the internet and free trade have already made for a very homogeneous world. This obviously has both pros and cons. I love that I can shop at the Spanish store Zara at home in the US, but I'm always disappointed when I see the same stuff when I travel overseas. What will the world look like if we can travel from one end to the next in less time than it takes to watch the sappy in-flight romantic comedy?!


Join The Conversation
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Pretty interesting! But I'm hoping it will be environmentally responsible, although I don't see how it could be.. On another point; The Economist is my favorite newspaper/magazine! It has the best journalists, intelligent but exciting articles and full coverage for Europe, Africa, Asia and South America as well as American news. Can't wait to read this one!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
this sounds sooo cool!
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Whoa. Quite honestly, I'm not THAT interested in space travel... but the idea of getting from one side of the world to another in 90 minutes?! NOW I'm excited. It would be wonderful not to have to spend an entire miserable day in a cramped plane to do any international travel. I hope they continue research & development and find some cheaper (but still safe) way to provide this opportunity to the masses!
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