US space tourism venture Virgin Galactic has formed new partnerships with Italy's biggest aerospace companies, Altec and Sitael, to someday launch passengers into space.
Virgin Galactic to launch people into space in future
The plan is to build a new passenger spaceplane and launch it from a future Grottaglie Spaceport in Italy, making Virgin Galactic the first such group to do so, The Verge reported.
The company already has a spaceplane called VSS Unity which does not have a set date for passenger flights. However, hundreds of enthusiasts have deposited USD 250,000 for a ticket.
“From the Renaissance to modern space science, Italy has always been a natural home to great innovators and breakthrough ideas which have shaped the human experience,” Virgin CEO Richard Branson said in a statement. “I believe Italy’s vision, which has led to this collaboration with our Virgin space companies, will provide a real impetus as we strive to open space for the benefit of life on Earth.”