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Vanessa Rothery, based in the offices of sister company Virgin Atlantic in Johannesburg, joined the team of 140 international accredited space agents after completing an intensive training program, commercial director Stephen Attenborough said in a statement.
“It’s important that people can find out about Virgin Galactic and book with a local expert, so we are delighted that South Africans now have that option,” said head of travel development Carolyn Wincer.
The spaceships used, VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve, would carry six passengers on sub-orbital space flights. The test flight program is underway, and Virgin Galactic’s commercial operations are based in New Mexico in the US.
During the flights, the passengers would experience zero gravity and views of earth from space, at a cost of around $200 000 (about R1.5 million), according to the Virgin Galactic website.
Passengers would undergo astronaut training and G-force acclimatisation before the flight, which would reach altitudes of more than 100km above the earth.
“Virgin Galactic aims to make space travel more attainable to the general public and uses technology that overcomes the fundamental safety, cost and environmental issues currently associated with space access,” the company said.