Virgin Group owner and British billionaire Richard Branson tells the Associated Press that the space tourism project he has been working on keeps being stopped from proceeding. He is not exactly sure when the first launch will take place.
Branson says to give the Virgin Galactic endeavor at least another year or so before it can provide paid journeys into space to travelers. He visited students at Warsaw University in Poland to introduce Virgin Academy, which will assist young entrepreneurs build their own businesses.
At the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, N.M., a company official told Albuquerque Journal Online that Virgin Galactic temporarily planned for a December 2013 liftoff. The Journal also reports that Spaceport America will take advantage from the non-tourist commercial space flight once the company authorizes the launch.
Branson said he has "stopped counting" days to the inauguration of Virgin Academy because it gets pushed back "to the next year, to the next year," AP reports. He adds that the students need to be "passionate about whatever you are doing in life" in order to be successful. More than a hundred potential space adventurers are already on board for the two-hour trips that cost $200,000 and goes 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth.
Read the AP story here.