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back to article Virgin Galactic announces test flight plans

Virgin Galactic has announced that it expects to go ex-atmospheric in a test flight this year. The announcement comes hard on Virgin Galactic’s remarks to Playboy magazine about long-term hopes to give space extra sex-appeal via an orbital nookie palace. With Reuters reporting that Virgin Galactic has pre-sold 500 customers, an …

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Anonymous Coward

Twat factor

If anyone else was doing this, I'd find it all really exciting, but it's hard for my enthusiasm to overcome the enormous drag factor of Richard Branson's association with the project.

In my mind's eye, I can already see the advertising billboards, with his irritating bearded face, grinning twattishly from inside a space helmet.

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JDX
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Re: Twat factor

Yeah what an idiot to work up from nothing, overcoming disability along the way.

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Re: Re: Twat factor

Being a self-made success who overcame great personal obstacles doe.n't preclude his being a twat.

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JDX
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Re: Re: Re: Twat factor

True but he doesn't seem like one to me when you look at the competition.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Twat factor

Cor Blimey! You're right guv'nor. E's a proper workin' class loveable cockney barrow boy, wot done good.

He didn't let; being the grandson of a high court judge and privy councillor, the son of a barrister, being a pupil at prep school in leafy Surrey, or going to private boarding school in Buckinghamshire stop him fighting his way to the top... armed only with the several thousand pounds his parents gave him to fund his early business ventures.

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Paris Hilton

The thing is...

If you really want zero G, you can do it for five grand dollars... www.gozerog.com

Somewhat cheaper than Branson's offering, and you'd have to be a bit quick on the nookie, but even so...

Paris, because... oh, you work it out.

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Coat

Re: The thing is...

"Somewhat cheaper than Branson's offering, and you'd have to be a bit quick on the nookie, but even so..."

Not a problem.

Mines the one with a copy of "Sexual Dysfunction Weekly" in the pocket...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The thing is...

If you want zero G you go flying aerobatics (0G until you reach VNO), or skydive (near 0G until you reach terminal velocity).

On the other hand, if you want to go to space...

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Thumb Up

Re: Re: The thing is...

Indeed. My one experience of zero G ended up a hundred feet later with a bloody great thump and four or five months off work while my back glued back together...

Which is not to say I wouldn't *love* to get some orbital time.

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Anonymous Coward

Top Stuff

I gave the article a top rating just for the bit that reads "Neil Armstrong, who needs introduction only in the style guides of newswires". I have to say, I like Mr. Chirgwin's no-nonsense style.

Besides, only people living in a cave would not know about the famous NHL linesman from Toronto. (Ok, sorry!...)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Top Stuff

"I like Mr. Chirgwin's no-nonsense style."

Sorry, but anyone who uses the word "leverage" as a verb will be up against a wall the day after I lead the Panzers down Whitehall.

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Joke

Re: Top Stuff

...comes hard on Virgin...

no nonsense?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Top Stuff

While you're at it, can you save a couple of rounds for anyone involved in the current craze for using the word "absent" at the beginning of a sentence... as a bloody verb!

Absent the firing squad option, genital electrodes might make them think twice.

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FAIL

Boring

Lets face it, theres a reason why sub-orbital has been abandoned for four decades - its Boring! You're only up there for a few minutes, and its only really useful as a way of testing kit before subesquent use in LEO.

I suspect the delays n Virgin Galatactic are either only to get more publicity for their over-priced hop in a souped up vomit comet or because, like most Virgin projects, its not working properly.

Now if it was 250k for a ticket to an orbital flight....

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Re: Boring

Done a lot of it then? So you know how boring it is?

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Boffin

Re: Boring

John Ruddy: "theres a reason why sub-orbital has been abandoned for four decades - its Boring! You're only up there for a few minutes, and its only really useful as a way of testing kit before subesquent use in LEO."

Really? I was under the impression that sub-orbital missions (AKA "sounding rockets") were alive and well with lots of operators across the world doing lots and lots of unglamorous but cheap microgravity, UV/X-Ray astronomy, upper atmosphere, etc, etc research.

I gather it's also a handy way of getting substantial payloads from point A to point B for military purposes :-)

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Re: Re: Boring

Arrives hot in 30 minutes or your money back?

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Thumb Up

Nice thumbnail

Hoping for a mention in Viz' 'Up The Arse Corner'?

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FAIL

Saviour

This is coming from 'Sir Richard ' champion of green energy' Branson -right?

Spunk a load of fuel out for a little joyride for those who can afford the waste - meh!

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JDX
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Re: Saviour

The money earned from rich fools could more than counter the non-green impact of the trip itself, probably. You need to think on a macro level.

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Re: Re: Saviour

Could.

But won't.

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Headmaster

"ex-atmospheric"

That's above 300km no? Below that there's certainly lots of the stuff. Keeps getting in the way of the LEO sats and the ISS.

If they mean appreciable atmosphere, I could go to the top of Everest for that. I'm an unfit bugger and would probably feel weightless for a while and pass-out. Probably cheaper, although probably more dangerous too.

/pedant

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Holmes

It takes a crazy Billionaire (like Branson) to make this happen

Folks, This is the stuff of legend. Self made Billionaire (yes crazy, narcisistic, etc) dreams big and comes through with practical, private space travel (eventually, don't believe ALL the hype yet).

The type of personality required to make these kinds of projects happen; requires a substantial amount of what "normal" people would call insanity.

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