Johannesburg - The first accredited agent to sell space flights in South Africa has been appointed, Virgin Galactic announced on Wednesday.
Vanessa Rothery, based in the offices of sister company
Virgin Atlantic in Johannesburg, joined the team of 140 international
accredited space agents after completing an intensive training programme,
commercial director Stephen Attenborough said in a statement.
“It's important that people can find out about Virgin
Galactic and book with a local expert, so we are delighted that South
Africans now have that option," said head of travel development Carolyn
The spaceships used, VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve, would
carry six passengers on sub-orbital space flights. The test flight
programme is under way, and Virgin Galactic's commercial operations are
based in New Mexico in the US.
During the flights, the passengers would experience
zero gravity and views of earth from space, at a cost of around $200 000 (about R1.5m), according to www.virgingalactic.com.
Passengers would undergo astronaut training and G-force
acclimatisation before the flight, which would reach altitudes of more
than 100km above the earth.
"Virgin Galactic aims to make space travel more
attainable to the general public and uses technology that overcomes the
fundamental safety, cost and environmental issues currently associated
with space access," the company said.