Richard Branson reveals plans for space hotels
Virgin Galactic launch
Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic - a company backed by Abu Dhabi government owned company Aabar Investments - is set to launch its inaugural space flight within the next three months, which will be the first commercial trip to space in history.
On a recent trip to Dubai, Branson also revealed his intentions to launch commercial space flights between Australia and London, and depending on the company's success, has several space-related plans on the horizon."If we can get enough people wanting to fly [to space] we can start building Virgin hotels in space, we can start doing trips to Mars, we can colonise Mars, we can start pulling asteroids back to Earth to see what minerals they have got in them," Branson revealed on Saturday during an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show.
Abu Dhabi government's Aabar Investments could potentially play a key part in this, as in 2009 it purchased a 35 per cent stake in Virgin Galactic. According to Branson, the company has plans to develop a space port in Abu Dhabi, however it would need US export approval and won't happen for several years.
Flights to space will at first cost $250,000, celebrities including Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher have already signed up for a space adventure. In 2015, Lady Gaga is already scheduled to make her outer space debut.