Virgin held a press conference today for the unveiling of SpaceShipTwo, their first official space tourism vehicle specially designed by veteran aerospace designer Burt Rutan. Whilst the original concept design, SpaceShipOne, was launched over a year ago, this final refined model is now apparently 60% completed and due to start taking its first travelers next year.

As well as touting the exciting potential of galactic tourism and describing 2008 as ‘the Year of the Spaceship’, Richard Branson used the event to highlight his vision for space as a solution for the future of the planet:

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