A Reuters article last week led with the news that Virgin Galactic planned to order additional SpaceShipTwo vehicles, with an initial order of five. That, though, has been what the company has been saying for some time (although the option for seven more, also mentioned in the article, isn’t as widely known). Virgin’s Alex Tai added that he expected the company to be profitable “inside the first five years”.
The Reuters article was filed in Singapore, where Virgin Galactic and other companies were for an aerospace expo. A local publication, Today, reported that Virgin’s plans to expand beyond Spaceport America could breathe new life into proposals for Spaceport Singapore. The proposed spaceport was announced two years ago by Space Adventures, which proposed to use a Russian-designed suborbital vehicle to operate out of there as well as a new spaceport in the UAE. However, Spaceport Singapore has stalled out; the web site’s sole press release dates from the original announcement in February 2006. Space Adventures’ Eric Anderson told Today that they have managed to raise only half the funding required for the project, although he remains hopeful that the rest can be found by the end of the year. Singapore officials appear to be indifferent to the project; the city-state’s trade minister told the publication that the spaceport was a private, not public. venture.