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Virgin Galactic space tourism could begin in 2013

October 27, 2011 - London

Virgin Galactic has said that its first passenger flights will not occur before 2013.

According to the BBC, Sir Richard Branson's space tourism venture said it hopes to launch the service in two years time, but even that date is not fixed.

The firm's commercial director, Stephen Attenborough, told the BBC that its customers' safety is paramount.

Test flights are currently underway, with rocket-powered tests scheduled to start next year.

Almost 500 people have bought tickets.

Branson had originally hoped the first commercial spacecraft, SpaceShip Two, would take off as early as 2007.

However, Attenborough stressed there never was an official date set for the inaugural launch.

He criticised some press reports, notably an article in the Wall Street Journal, that described the 2013 goal as "yet another delay".


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