Broadcast 1648 (Special Edition)

04 Nov 2011 George T. Whitesides
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Guest: George Whitesides. Topics: Virgin Galactic updates and information. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, back to the show for updates and a progress report on the company. During our 45 minute discussion with George, we talked about Virgin operations and time lines, the Virgin test flight program, their test pilots along with the Scaled test pilots, required and pending FAA regulations, the impact of the global and domestic economy on Virgin ticket sales and a host of other topics and issues. Listeners wanted a quality comparison for the research flights with Zero G from Virgin Galactic as compared to a Zero G flight or a sounding rocket. Another listener wanted to know how long it might take for Virgin to fly 5,000 people in space once operations commenced along with how long it might take to have Point to Point spaceflight operations. I asked George about the demographics of Virgin ticket buyers including nationality, age, and gender. While the U.S. is the largest customer so far, global ticket sales were estimated to be greater in total than U.S. sales alone. George was also asked about the likelihood of Congress extending/renewing the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 which expires at the end of next year. A Denver listener wanted to know if Virgin felt competition pressure from the other vehicle companies. You might be surprised by George's response to this question. We also inquired about the expected revenue from both the research and the spaceflight participant segments once Virgin starts operation. As you will hear, our guest suggested that in time the research revenue would equal the participant revenue stream. Another set of questions asked about articles posted in the Albuquerque Business Journal about Spaceport America runway construction problems and crosswind placement issues. As our time with George drew to a close, he let us know we could register online at the Virgin website for more information about tickets. Once we register, Virgin has a representative call the registrant with more information. Visit the Virgin Galactic website for more details, www.virgingalactic.com. I came back for a very short second segment in which I went over upcoming Space Show programs for November. Please post your comments and questions on the blog URL above. If you need specific Virgin Galactic information, use the information and contact links on the Virgin website.

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