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How Richard Branson wants to open up space travel

The billionaire, entrepreneur and aircraft fan Sir Richard Branson aims high, literally. In 2014, Branson himself along with and his children, Holly and Sam, will travel into space on SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic’s terminal at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Here is how it is done.

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Branding his company Virgin Galactic as the world’s first commercial spaceline, Richard Branson has already come along way. He has a spacecraft, the SpaceShipTwo, a space port in the New Mexican desert, and a stock of eager and wealthy passengers who have already payed him millions to get into space.


Pop idol Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher and Leonardo DiCaprio are among the celebrities who have signed up for flights on Virgin Galactic. The company is accepting deposits of $250,000 and up for a chance to travel on one of Branson’s spaceships.

In November, Branson announced a deal with NBC allowing the TV channel to report from the historic trip that he plans with his children sometime during 2014.


Virgin Galactic is not the only company planning to bring the highest bidder into space, but, with some of the other firms struggling with financing, it can be argued that Branson’s outfit has come the farthest in making it happen. The price for doing the journey is still such that the pocketbooks of most ordinary people put space travel out of reach for some time yet.

But how it is done? The Traveling Reporter can provide this infographic showing many of the complex workings of SpaceShipTwo.

Click to open, then click View full size in lower right corner to enlarge.

How the SpaceShipTwo travels into space.

How the SpaceShipTwo travels into space.



VIDEO SpaceShipTwo

Page one photo by Bill Deaver

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.