By Virtuoso CEO Matthew D. Upchurch
Today’s unveiling of Virgin Galactic‘s SpaceShipTwo is another historic step toward the realization of commercial space tourism. Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic team have dared to dream that everyday people would want to escape Earth’s pull and see our blue planet as few before them have. Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites have literally put wings to that dream, and today we saw firsthand the vehicle they have created. I could describe the composite material used to make the ship lighter, stronger and greener than any plane or rocket ever constructed. I could recite the years of development in concept and design, along with the huge financial commitments, that together have brought us to today’s event. But I’d rather leave the facts to the engineers, accountants and reporters and, instead, tell you what this means to me personally.
As I told Chris Elliott, the idea that while I float weightless above the Earth I can look down from the edge of the atmosphere to actually see the curve of the Earth is extremely exciting. I know it will be a life-changing event! I learned early on that seeing the beauty of the natural world, exploring her wonders and getting to know her inhabitants, enriches my life beyond description and measure. Once I have completed my own flight aboard SpaceShipTwo, I will have a totally new perspective from a completely new vantage. It will be the ultimate travel experience.
Equally exciting for me is knowing this experience is available to others who share my passion for amazing life experiences. The first passenger flights are expected to launch within the next 18 to 24 months. Yes, you can book your seat right now. Just contact a Virtuoso Accredited Space Agent. If you go to the Virtuoso web site, you’ll find the contact information to connect you to a Virtuoso member who has been hand-selected and specially trained by Virgin Galactic to be an Accredited Space Agent.