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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Brittannia rules the spacewaves

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic expects to start flying in 2008.

Designer Philippe Starck, former soap star Victoria Principal and ‘Superman Returns’ director Bryan Singer have booked their flights for tourist trips in outer space, an official from the company selling the galactic voyage said Monday.

Virgin Galactic, a Virgin Group company, has sold some 200 tickets to passengers for suborbital flights, starting in 2008, said Will Whitehorn, the company’s president.

It has collected 8.5 million pounds (US$15.6 million, euro12.4 million) in deposits for the flights that cost 109,000 pounds (US$200,000, euro158,000).

Despite the seemingly hard scheduled time here, I have heard Virgin Galactic officials state emphatically they will not fly until Burt Rutan says SpaceShipTwo is ready nor will they put pressure on him to rush the job. Branson is in this for the long haul, and that means he has to ‘Bring ’em Back Alive’.

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