back to article Virgin Galactic leases itself a spaceport

Virgin Galactic has signed with the state of New Mexico to build the nation's first rocketplane spaceport for flinging wealthy customers out of Earth's atmosphere. The suborbital-tourism firm owned by British billionaire Richard Branson inked the 20-year lease agreement this week to establish its HQ at the planned state-funded …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    A wretched hive of scum and villainy....

    .....oh, and Branson too.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $200k

    Save yourself $195k and take up Skydiving, (lot more fun too).

  3. Andrew Norton
    Joke

    image reference

    I was shocked. I guess it proves there are Reg hacks that CAN read (and not just those inedible books about balls and dogs named spot either!)

    Perhaps not all hope it dead for the Reg, it just has to stop printing adverts as news, and explain to orlowski what 'fact-checking' means (or force him to allow comments, we'll soon get him up to speed on facts)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    I think I'll wait until....

    ....Tescos start putting discount offers on the back of supermarket dockets.

    SAVE NOW

    FLY LATER!

    5p off any suborbital flight!

    Offer does not extend to inflight entertainment

  5. Pete "oranges" B.
    Thumb Up

    Amazing. Slightly Stupid, but Still Amazing.

    Even though it is just a more-or-less useless novelty for the rich right now, it is still hard to believe that a venture in commercial spaceflight has come this far, period.

    I can't say with confidence that if I could tell someone about this, on this day back in 2k, I wouldn't be laughed at.

    And, quite frankly, I hope this doesn't fade away like the supersonic jetliner. It would be a great loss if further developments in spaceflight were delayed because the initial venture sank.

  6. anarchic-teapot

    @ Pete "oranges" B

    Not sure that telling someone about this right now wouldn't get you laughed at either.

    Mind you, it sounds more like a giant Vomit Comet terminal thatn a serious spaceport.

  7. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Alert

    Size matters

    Why do they need such an enormous "spaceport" to launch half a dozen people every few days? Wouldn't a Portakabin (TM) be just as good?

  8. Ben Park
    Coat

    Mojave?

    "The agreement coincides with the beginning of test flights for Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnight Two carrier craft in MOJAVE, California."

    Are we sure it's really their aircraft?

    Maybe it's an old one of Nasa's, they've written "Virgin" on the side of, in an effort to make people think it's safer, and they'll get ordinary people/actors (with no knowledge of spaceflight) to sit in it for 5minutes and see if they think it'll work like it should. They could use it in the commercials...and call it.. "The Mojave Experiment"

    Mine's the one with 'The Rough Guide to California' in the pocket

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Obvious Cargo Cult is obvious.

    And congrats to the Regmeister who transformed a quotation from Enders Game into an image caption.

  10. James

    To be honest

    If I had the money, I would!

    They can:

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_The-Worlds-Billionaires_Rank.html

  11. Graham Lockley
    Joke

    Who the hell is Figrin D'an ?

    Ok, did a search and it seems he is Steely's h'alf brother.

    (no, I didnt really know who he/it was until the Almighty Wiki came to my aid)

  12. sidney cook
    Thumb Up

    Built by the lowest bidder

    This is from Rock hound in the movie Armageddon

    "You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn't it? "

    The Virgin project is built with high bidders and the newest equipment not twenty five years old technology.

    It is about time we as a people start going in to space with out the government. This is just another science fiction book coming true.

    We need a smart idea icon.

  13. Alien8n
    Alien

    @Sidney Cook

    You may be onto something...

    How long till we have Virgin Galactic space shuttles (leased to NASA due to NASA's inability to build them themselves) and a new wing added to the International Space Hotel, er I mean Station...

    Just need someone to find a giant black vending machine buried on the moon and most of 2001 a Space Odyssey will have come true :)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh God the hype

    Yawn, it's the same old suborbital rollercoaster which is a far cry from true spaceflight, i.e. to low earth orbit. Unfortunately, the prospects of a commercial craft putting people in orbit is about as remote as Virgin running their poxy trains on time.

  15. Tom Cooke

    @Pete B - amazing

    I'm right there with you - A-MAZE-ING (in the words of Craig Revel Horwood). Within the last two weeks we've also seen NASA sign commercial cargo-lift contracts with two companies. As I posted in that thread, it really feels like finally the *twentieth* century is getting off the ground :-)

    I don't care if I never go, but I want to live to see what James Blish describes at the beginning of "Cities in Flight" - commercial passenger and cargo launches to space being as routine and normal as jumbo jet takeoffs are at Heathrow today.

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Alert

    The Millenium Falcon can do the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs

    >> The Virgin project is built with high bidders

    Think about the economics, man. At that rate, the train will never leave the station.

    >> It is about time we as a people start going in to space with out the government.

    It's suborbital, so it ain't going nowhere fast. In order for private industry to do anything useful in space, serious lifting capabilities will have to be developed and a reason to go there (other than entertaining tourists) will have to be found. Ain't going to happen on our watch I reckon. And if, I'm sure there will be gov' subsidies to kickstart this.

    >> This is just another science fiction book coming true.

    I hope you forgot the sarcasm tags.

  17. Elmer Phud
    Flame

    Two-faced?

    One one hand we have Branson carping on about bio-fuels for airlines that will miraculously save the planet if we all fly everywhere.

    On t'other hand we have the huge environmental costs of building a new place, installing transportation links and then chucking huge amounts of energy so a few people can (briefly) look down on the rest of us.

    Sod the grinning little elf and his fuedal system.

  18. Flugal
    Paris Hilton

    @ Sidney Cook

    Presumably the line from the film you used was nicked from the original quote by Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard:

    "It's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract."

    Paris - because the highest bidder rides her, and not the other way around.

  19. shay mclachlan

    Must have....

    I'm up for it so long as they still serve chilled Chrunchie Bars like they did on the Gatwick-Antigua flights.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This would be newsworthy...

    ...if it actually involved true spaceflight. The best definition of "space" would start at the lowest orbital altitude.

  21. Bounty

    What's an orbit? Powered flights can go round the earth....

    If you can't just float around it, then the space station doesn't count, since we have to boost it. If you're pushing through it, then regular planes can orbit. Or you can go by the karman line. Mandatory truthiness link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suborbital_flight

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