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Virgin Galactic’s Attenborough Promotes Space Tourism Benefits to British Midlands

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 16, 2010
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VSS Enterprise on its first test flight. (Photo: Mark Greenberg)

Virgin’s Space Tourism Brings New Opportunities for Aerospace Firms
Birmingham Post

Richard Branson’s plans to make space tourism a commercial reality could open up a new industry for West Midland aerospace firms, according to a senior figure at Virgin Galactic.

Mr [Stephen] Attenborough said although the technology being developed to take passengers into space is American, aerospace firms all over the world could eventually tap into the opportunities it opens up.

“What we’re seeing generally is that near-earth activities are increasingly going to become the preserve of the private sector rather than government agencies,” he said.

“There is a great industry waiting to happen and the UK traditionally has been very innovative and has quite a space heritage, so it would be lovely to see some UK companies taking advantage of that.”

The Midlands is a key player in the UK’s aerospace sector, with just under a quarter of the country’s industry and 40,000 jobs based here, ranging from large global players to small supply firms.

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