Dale Amon is Samizdata.net’s man in the know about this stuff, but I link to it also, if only because the enemies of freedom (see the first paragraph of the first comment on this posting) seem to hate it so much, and write attacks (“Among their sacred causes are the decontrol of gun ownership and decriminalisation of all drugs…”) on Samizdata.net that could not be bettered if Samidata.net had paid for them.
Like SpaceShipOne, the homebuilt rocketship that claimed a £5.2m cash prize for twice reaching suborbital space, Rutan’s next creation will travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere as well.
SpaceShipTwo (SS2), however, will have more than a single occupant.
Rutan is toying with designs to accommodate up to eight passengers at a time, with enough upgrades to warrant a ticket in the £104,000 (£200,000) price range.
“I think anyone who had the chance to go would want to go,” said Trevor Beattie, a British advertising personality, who already has booked a flight.
Rutan, who has been averaging better than one new aircraft design every year for the past three decades, says he is finished with airplanes for a while.
The mission now for his Mojave-based company, Scaled Composites, is to create 3,000 new astronauts a year – per departure point, Rutan adds, and per ship.
“Mojave is not going to be the only place in the world where there will be a place to buy tickets and fly a spaceflight,” Rutan said.
Not everything in the world is good just now, and that would have been true even without that terrible earthquake. But some things are going very well.