by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (UPI) Oct 14, 2011
Space tourism company Virgin Galactic says it has signed a deal to give NASA scientists rides into space to conduct experiments.
British billionaire Richard Branson's private space program has announced an order from NASA for one charter suborbital spaceflight so agency engineers and scientific researchers can perform experiments, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
The contract includes an option for two additional charter flights that could bring Virgin Galactic, based in Las Cruces, N.M., a total of $4.5 million.
Each mission would accommodate up to 1,300 pounds of scientific equipment for experiments, the company said.
"We are excited to be working with NASA to provide the research community with this opportunity to carry out experiments in space," George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic's chief executive officer, said. "An enormous range of disciplines can benefit from access to space, but historically, such research opportunities have been rare and expensive."
Virgin Galactic said it hopes to conduct its first passenger flight sometime next year from its yet-to-be finished Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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Indian-French satellite put into orbit
Hyderabad, India (AFP) Oct 12, 2011
An Indian-French satellite that will study monsoon patterns and global warming was launched on Wednesday from a space centre in southern India. The satellite was one of four successfully released into orbit from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) centre in Andhra Pradesh in a boost to India's ambitious space exploration programme. The Megha-Tropiques satellite, a joint project ... read more
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