One Small Step for Richard Branson, One Giant Leap for Private Individuals

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Photo: Getty Images

Virgin Galactic's space-tourism rocket, SpaceShipTwo, made its first glide without the aid of a jet-powered mother ship yesterday, which means Richard Branson is one step closer to the dream of redefining "fuck you" money as the kind that buys you your very own spaceship. After climbing 45,000 feet above the Mojave Desert, it flew freely for eleven minutes. More tests need to happen before the six-passenger aircraft can bring tourists (at $200,000 a pop) onboard. The executive director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation said, "flight marks another key milestone towards opening the space frontier for private individuals, researchers, and explorers." Forget it, public individuals. No one wants your kind in outer space.

Private spaceship makes 1st solo glide flight [AP]