It may seem a little far-fetched right now but it could become a reality if space companies like Virgin Galactic realize their aspirations over the next 30 years or so. Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic and his children are scheduled to travel in his company’s spaceship around the world in 2014. When the CEO, George Whitesides, he says that their ambitions are greater than sub-orbital flights. Whitesides said that if they can make this work then it will open many opportunities.
One of the directions that might open up is high-speed point-to-point travel on Earth — so that you could go from London to Singapore in an hour or go from London to Los Angeles in a couple of hours.
Whitesides adds that they are is focused on completing the test flight program in preparation for the passenger flights that he said Virgin Galactic aims to run on a weekly basis once the service is established. There are about 650 people that signed up for these flights according to Whitesides.
The search for Earth-like planets is clearly something that fascinates Whitesides too. He believes we will soon be able to detect seasons on other worlds. And he’s unlikely to have to wait until 2043 for his first taste of space adventure, having signed up for a seat in his company’s spaceship. I’m actually a customer as well, he said. My wife and I bought two tickets in 2005. I think it’s important that I fly because just as Richard’s flight is such an important signal to our customers that he believes in the system, similarly I need to do that as well.