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世界首艘商业宇宙飞船亮相 票价20万美元

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李察·布莱信爵士正准备迎接新太空竞赛的黎明——这场竞赛将由私人公司进行角逐。他希望在10年内,就能实现每天两次发射40艘宇宙飞船、每艘飞船每次载客6人。
Sir Richard Branson is preparing for the dawn of a new space race which will be contested by private companies and hopes within the next decade to be launching 40 spaceships twice a day, carrying six passengers at a time.
周一晚,在多风的莫哈韦沙漠,这位维珍航空(Virgin Atlantic)的创始人揭开了他第一艘商业宇宙飞船VSS Enterprise的神秘面纱。他表示,他的工程师们将在未来12个月内完成一系列严格测试,确保飞船安全且适宜运载付费顾客。
The founder of the Virgin Atlantic airline unveiled the VSS Enterprise, his first commercial spaceship, in the windswept Mojave desert in California late on Monday, and said his engineers would spend the next 12 months completing rigorous tests to make sure the craft is safe and ready to carry paying customers.
他旗下的维珍银河(Virgin Galactic)计划在2011年前为这艘宇宙飞船做好商业飞行的准备。该公司已与300多名顾客签约,每位顾客将为往返两个小时的太空旅行支付20万美元。
His Virgin Galactic company aims to have the spaceship ready for commercial flights by 2011. It has signed up more than 300 customers who will pay $200,000 for a two-hour round trip into space.
李察爵士表示:“进入太空后,他们将解开安全带……他们可以回望地球,四处漂浮,当一回宇航员。”
"Once they're in space, they'll unbuckle their seats . . . they can look back at the earth and they can float around and they can become astronauts," said Sir Richard.
该计划获得了加州州长阿诺德·施瓦辛格和新墨西哥州州长比尔·理查森的支持。
The project has the backing of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, and Bill Richardson, New Mexico's governor.
施瓦辛格向在座的维珍银河顾客表示,在加州设计和建造的VSS Enterprise,承袭了该州航天创新的伟大传统。“查克·耶格尔就是在这里突破音障的,第一艘航天飞机也是在这里建造和降落的。”
Mr Schwarzenegger told an audience of Virgin Galactic customers that the VSS Enterprise, which was designed and built in California, continued a grand tradition of aerospace innovation in the state. "Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier right here and the first space shuttles were built and landed here."
理查森表示,新墨西哥州已承诺出资3亿美元,用于建造“太空港”,维珍银河的首批飞航将从那里发射升空。他还表示,该州“为能率先进入第二个太空时代而感到自豪”。
Mr Richardson said New Mexico had pledged 0m to invest in a "spaceport" from which the first Virgin Galactic flights will be launched and said the state was "proud to be on the ground floor of the second space age".
理查森在接受英国《金融时报》采访时表示,他希望美国国家航空航天局能在商业太空旅行领域与私人部门展开更为紧密的合作。“Nasa拥有一个十分诱人的品牌名称,但却在那些无需耗费巨资的项目上几十亿、几十亿地扔钱。”
Sir Richard told the Financial Times in an interview that he hoped Nasa would eventually work more closely with the private sector on commercial space travel. "Nasa has a very sexy brand name but has spent billions and billions of dollars on projects that don't need to cost billions and billions."
他补充称,Nasa“应该让私人公司从自己手中接过更多项目……但仍然保留自己的基础结构,对这些项目进行监督。我感觉奥巴马政府可能已经有这样的考虑了。”
He added the organisation "should enable private companies to take on more of the things that they do . . . [but] still keep the infrastructure of Nasa to oversee these projects. I have a feeling that the Obama government may be thinking that way."
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2009-12-14 17:33 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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