Virgin Galactic is one of the many potential avenues to booking a day trip up beyond the Earth's atmosphere, but it's been plagued with problems that have seen its projected consumer launch date pushed further and further back. But, after some hiccups regarding a new fuel type, test flights are to shortly resume.
SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic's space tourism craft, has spent most of 2014 in its hangar after the decision was made to try a new type of rocket fuel with the vehicle. It would improve SpaceShipTwo's performance, but required further certification approval to be acquired, and a lengthy testing period before that. But with testing completed and the appropriate aviation authorities giving the green-light for lift-off, CEO George Whitesides has been able to reassure the £160k-paying passengers that their Major Tom dreams will indeed eventually become a reality. Maybe Branson's proposed 2015 opening for tourist trips will take place after all. [Space]