Want to travel into space?

As a child did you dream of becoming an astronaut? Well Richard Branson might be able to make your dreams come true - that is, if you have a spare $200,000. The newly launched Virgin Galactic (yes, seriously) is taking bookings, which you can make through "Accredited Space Agents" (yes, seriously).

What does the space trip involve?

You'll spend two or three days in training for the experience, and then you'll be suited up and launched off into space. You'll be travelling at a whopping 2,500 mph - that's three times the speed of sound!

There are large windows where you can enjoy the view and look back down to earth as you leave the earth's atmosphere.

And, of course, there'll be no gravity. You'll be free to float around and somersault, weightless through the cabin - that's plenty of "zero g fun", according to the website.

Do I need to fit super fit to travel into space?

There are some pre-flight medical checks involved. The Virgin Galactic website suggests that the vast majority of people who want to travel into space should qualify.

What training is involved?

There will be two or three days of pre-flight training and bonding exercises. You'll be mentally and physically prepared for the flight, which includes training on emergency procedures.

What about the environment?

Virgin Galactic's commercial space launch system is cleaner, cheaper and safer than any space station that has gone before it. They estimate that their passengers' carbon footprints will be 0.8 tonnes - less than a one-way flight from London to New York.

What about safety?

Of course, if you're going to rocket off into space, you will probably have concerns about safety. The Virgin Galactic website reassures would-be space travellers: "Safety is Virgin Galactic's North Star. It is at the heart of the design of our new vehicles and will be engrained in the culture of our space line operation."

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