What Kind Of Tourist Will Virgin Galactic Bring To Our Doorstep?

With Virgin Galactic (VG) now aiming for its first launch by the end of this year, there are some entrepreneurial opportunities currently available for Sierra County residents. Virgin Galactic’s Carolyn Wincer, head of travel and tourism development, and Brandon Rettke, a Category manager/hospitality, both spoke to about 50 local residents who attended a March 27 meeting designed to inform potential entrepreneurs of the amenities VG staff, space tourists and their guests need. The first launch is planned for later this year, but could be postponed for further testing. However, Wincer said the company is moving forward in preparation for the planned flights that will take place at Spaceport America (SA). “We are on the home stretch,” said Wincer. “Right now we are finishing the interior of the gateway (its facilities at SA) and will begin moving into the building by mid-summer.” According to Wincer, 700 people have paid deposits to take a space flight, but at six (including two pilots) per flight it will take a long time for these to be completed. So, the company is making immediate plans for the first 85 who signed up. As the flights progress more than one rocket could be launched and eventually it hopes to be making at least two launches a month. “It’s important for the experience of the ‘pioneering team,’ the first 85 customers, to be a memorable one and for us to ensure it is safe – that we get it right,” she said……