Headlines: Bitcoin Used to Buy a Ticket to Space at Virgin Galactic

November 26, 2013 – A flight attendant from Hawaii is using Bitcoin to buy a ticket on SpaceShipTwo for a future suborbital flight. Richard Branson sees the digital currency as futuristic, much like his company Virgin Galactic. Branson has invested in Bitcoin as well as other online merchant payment technologies like the Square card reader and Clinkle the new start up mobile payment app.

SpaceShipTwo made its latest powered test flight in September doing a 20 second rocket engine burn and reaching a maximum altitude of just under 20 kilometers (65,000 feet). It reached a speed of Mach 1.6 (1,900 kilometers, 1,178 miles per hour). When SpaceShipTwo finally makes its first full suborbital flight the rocket burn will last three times longer. So this test is getting Virgin Galactic close to its goal to fly first flights in 2014. Branson with his family intends to be on the first suborbital flight.

The use of Bitcoin further legitimizes the currency. So just how many Bitcoin are needed to pay for one ticket that is priced in U.S. dollars at $250,000?  Last week Bitcoin was trading at $900. Based on that valuation the single ticket cost this female flight attendant 277.77 Bitcoin. She is joining 650 others who have paid either deposits or the full price to fly Virgin Galactic to the edge of space.



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Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...