Researchers Land Space Deal With Virgin Galactic

Scientists can now join tourists on space flights

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Virgin Galactic is a space tourism company that'll launch the paying public into space.

    Virgin Galactic, the newest part of Richard Branson's Virgin empire, has teamed up with scientists who want to use the billionaire's most expensive tourist attraction for, you know, science stuff.

    The Southwest Research Institute inked a deal with Virgin Galactic on Monday that will allow researchers to conduct experiments in space.

    The space tourism company can launch paying space enthusiasts 100 kilometers into the air so they can see Earth's curvature and experience about six minutes of weightlessness. And now, scientists want to get in on the fun too.

    The institute bought two tickets for $200,000 apiece for scientists to fly aboard SpaceShipTwo, where they plan to conduct microgravity, climate and other experiments. The agreement stipulates that researchers will be able to reserve charter flights on the spacecraft.

    Engineers are currently flight-testing SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave Desert, and there's no exact date for when flights will begin.

    Regular folks can reserve their spot on a flight for the $200,000 price tag, including a $20,000 deposit. According to Virgin Galactic, 400 adventurers already have their name down.