Though commercial space initiatives have a whiff of sadness about them (RIP lots of NASA funding, RIP the space craze of the ’50s), space geeks like your Betabeat reporters are excited by the prospect of making our way into outerspace however we can. And by the looks of it, every day people like you and me could soon be headed off into the ether–provided we have the massive amounts of cash to front the trip.
One of commercial space’s most vocal proponents is Virgin Airlines CEO Richard Branson, who has made it his personal mission to help fund the pipe dreams of space-crazed citizens everywhere. CBS reports that Mr. Branson’s spaceship, Virgin Galactic, will soon offer $200,000/ticket seats for a two hour trip to space, beginning as early as next year.
But that’s not all. Mr. Branson is hellbent on establishing a human colony on Mars within the next 20-30 years.
“In my lifetime, I’m determined to being a part of starting a population on Mars,” he told CBS. “I think it is absolutely realistic. It will happen.”
Let’s just hope those Virgin space shuttles to Mars are also lit up purple like a flying club in the sky.