“As NASA’s manned space efforts falter in the face of the looming conclusion of the shuttle program and by a finding of the Augustine Committee that projects that government-funded space exploration will be significantly more expensive in coming years, private space ventures are soaring. Virgin Galactic — in which Richard Branson’s Virgin group is majority share holder — plans to begin offering sub-orbital space flights for would-be astronauts who can afford the $200,000 ticket as early as 2011.”