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Expected to begin in 2010

  You’ve Explored the Far Corners of the Earth …
Now, Venture with us into Space!
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As the worldwide leader in astronomy-themed travel, TravelQuest International, along with partners Virgin Galactic, and Camelback Odyssey Travel, a member of Virtuoso, invite you on a truly out-of-this-world trip of a lifetime to experience – travel to OUTER SPACE!    
Imagine experiencing 3g of force, weightlessness, and seeing with your own eyes the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space, all at a price much less than the $20 million others have spent!  
Based on the X-Prize-winning concept by aerospace designer Burt Rutan, Virgin Galactic is creating a spaceline (not airline) that features spaceliners that will take eight people at a time (6 ticketed passengers and 2 pilot astronauts)  
on a sub-orbital trip. The Virgin Galactic spaceliner will be attached to a specially designed jet carrier aircraft that will carry its special cargo. The carrier aircraft, White Knight Two (WK2), is expected to begin flight-testing later in 2008, while spaceliner SpaceShipTwo (SS2) is about 60% complete. Both crafts are being constructed at Mr. Rutan's Scaled Composites facility in California, USA.
The inaugural flights are scheduled for take off in 2010.  After several days of pre-flight orientation at Virgin Galactic’s spaceport in New Mexico, USA, passengers will board their SpaceShipTwo attached to White Knight Two jet carrier aircraft and climb to an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,000 meters) for release.
  At 50,000 ft. it will be an incredible time of anticipation, and perhaps contemplation of what is about to happen. Then comes the countdown to release, that brief moment of quiet before a wave of unimaginable but controlled power surges through the spaceliner. You are instantly pinned back into your seat, overwhelmed but enthralled by the howl of the rocket motor and the eye-watering acceleration which, as you watch the read-out, has you traveling in a matter of seconds, at almost 2,500 miles-per-hour (4050 km-per-hours), over 3 times the speed of sound.  
  As you hurtle through the edges of the atmosphere, the large windows reveal the cobalt blue sky turning to mauve to indigo and finally to black. Both literally and figuratively you are on a high, this is really happening, and you are loving it. You start to relax, but in an instant your senses are back on full awareness, the world contained in your spaceship has completely transformed.  
  The rocket motor has been switched off and it is quiet. But it's not just quiet, it's QUIET. The silence of space is as awe inspiring as was the noise of the rocket just moments earlier. What's really getting your senses screaming now though, is that the gravity which has dominated every movement you have made since the day you were born is not there anymore! There is no up and no down, and you're out of your seat experiencing the freedom that even your dreams could not really imagine. After a graceful mid-space summersault you find yourself at a large window and what you see would make your hair stand on end if the zero gravity hadn't already achieved that effect. Below you (or is it above you?) is a view that you've seen in countless NASA images but the reality is so much more beautiful, so much more vivid and produces emotions that are strong, but hard to define. The blue map below you, curving into the black distance is familiar but has none of the usual marked boundaries. The incredibly narrow ribbon of atmosphere looks worryingly fragile. What you are looking at is the source of everything it means to be human, and it is home, to all of us. You see that your fellow astronauts are equally spellbound, all lost in their own thoughts and storing away these precious memories.  
  Then the pilots are asking you to return to your now reclined seats. Gravity is starting to return, as you knew it had to. The deceleration produces strong g-forces, but you're lying down and deal with them just as you've been taught. You can hear and feel the feathered wings of the spacecraft producing a powerful drag as the thickness of the atmosphere increases, although out of the windows it still looks like space. The g-forces quickly ease off and you hear the pilot announce that she is about to re-feather the craft for the graceful glide home.  
  Later that evening, after the celebrations and ‘wings’ ceremony, you are finally alone, and know that life will never quite be the same for you again.  
  Very few people have experienced space travel. TravelQuest and its partners aspire to change that. The cost of this amazing experience, including several days of pre-flight training, is $200,000 USD. TravelQuest International, in cooperation with Virgin Galactic, and Camelback Odyssey Travel’s Betsy Donley, an accredited space agent, is now accepting reservations for space travelers ready to make their dreams come true.  
Aram Kaprielian
TravelQuest International
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Revised: February 23, 2008.
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