Virgin's commerical spacecraft has itself a merry little test flight

The world’s first manned commercial spacecraft flight took place just a few hours ago, and it was a smashing success. Within a few years, we’ll all fly to Jupiter on our lunch breaks, drink a café com leite while doodling away on our iPad 5GXs, then come back to the office to pretend to do work for the remaining 2.5 hours of the day.

Virgin created the aircraft, the SpaceShip Two (though rechristened the VSS Enterprise) quite possibly merely to stroke Richard Branson’s ego. But ego-stroking is simply a part of big business. Why, it was only a few days ago that some banking bigwig referred to Congressional staffers as “little punk staffers.” That has nothing to do with anything, I just though it was a funny moment in American history.

Back to the SpaceShip Two. It test-flew over the Mojave Desert, accompanied by its “mothership” WhiteKnightTwo, for nearly three hours.

This was but a small step in the process of being able to hop aboard and fly into the heavens. Actual flights aren’t expected until 2012, provided the world doesn’t explode by then.

How much would such a flight cost? The current estimate is that each seat will set you back $200,000.

It might actually be cheaper to earn a PhD in engineering, join NASA, then become an astronaut. Plus, you’d have a pretty cool career going for you.