• 05.08.09

Virgin Galactic: Space Flights Will Turn Us All Into Environmentalists

Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn told Reuters that he is convinced space tourism is both viable and environmentally sound. The company has already received $40 million in deposits from potential tourist-astronauts …

spaceship two

Despite the cost and limited availability of rocket fuel, Whitehorn claims that Virgin Galactic’s flights are actually eco-friendly. Instead of using ground-launching rocket technology, Virgin minimizes fuel use by releasing spaceships into sub-orbit using jet carrier aircraft. The company also uses non-metallic materials in its spacecraft that use less power than NASA space shuttles. And in any case, Whitehorn contends, “Polluting space is extremely difficult. ” A valid point, but depleting earth of non-renewable fuels for everyday trips into space is a real possibility.


Whitehorn does make one convincing argument: viewing our planet from space could be enough to transform even the most hard-hearted among us into environmentalists.

[Via Reuters]

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.