Richard Branson interview – Stars in his eyes
Scotland on Sunday
“So far, 80,000 people have registered an interest in being among the six passengers for the inaugural Virgin Galactic trip, and 286 have paid deposits, including physicist Stephen Hawking, the environmentalist James Lovelock and former Dallas actress Victoria Principal.
“‘We are now holding $40m in deposits from a huge range of people,’ says [Virgin Galactic President Will] Whitehorn. ‘In July we unveiled White Knight Two, the world’s largest carbon-fibre aircraft, in the Mojave desert, California. By the time this article is in print we will have begun months of test flights. The next stage is the actual aircraft, which we will unveil next summer, ahead of our first commercial flights to space by early 2010.'”