By Alwyn Scott and Irene Klotz NEW YORK/CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - The wait for paying passengers to see Earth from the vantage point of space looked a lot longer on Friday, following the fatal crash of Virgin Galactic’s first spaceship, but aspiring space tourists did not appear to be lining up for refunds. About 800 people already have paid or put down deposits for rides on SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger, two-pilot suborbital spaceship owned by Virgin Galactic, an offshoot of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which aims to be the first commercial space ride for tourists. Tickets sell for $250,000. SpaceShipTwo broke up during a test flight in Mojave, Calif., on Friday, killing one of two pilots. The Virgin accident came three days after an unmanned Antares rocket owned and launched by Orbital Sciences Corp exploded 15 seconds after liftoff in Virginia. Hours after the Friday crash, Carmella Sears, an accredited Virgin Galactic "space agent" at Mansour Travel Co in Beverly Hills, California, had not heard any customers asking for refunds, and she did not expect to. Although Hollywood celebrities including Tom Hanks and Angelina Jolie have signed up for trips, her two customers are more ordinary people into extreme sports and adventures. Space flight, she said, "is definitely on their bucket list. It is something they really, really want to do." One waiting passenger, XPRIZE Foundation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter Diamandis, said he would trust Virgin to keep him safe when his turn arose. The precursor ship to SpaceShipTwo won the $10 million Ansari X Prize by sending the first privately owned manned ship into space in 2004. "This is what exploring is all about. We risk our lives for what we believe in. This is the American way — the explorer’s way. I for one, am proud to be a Virgin Galactic client," he said in a statement. The accident may prompt Congress to broaden the Federal Aviation Administration's oversight of the commercial suborbital spaceflight industry, which lobbied hard for a moratorium on passenger safety regulation until October 2015. The two accidents in one week also deepened concerns about reliance on private space companies for commerce and government. "I still believe we have to move to a commercial model... but the SpaceShipTwo (accident) is going to make that difficult," said Joan Johnson-Freese, a space policy expert with the Naval War College in Rhode Island. "I think people are going to make a case for ‘too much risk, too many shortcuts, not enough testing because profit is involved,’” she said. Virgin Galactic promises travelers a journey lasting about two hours, with several minutes of weightlessness and a view of the Earth framed against the blackness of space. SpaceShipTwo is carried to an altitude of about 45,000 feet (13.7 kms) by Virgin's White Knight Two carrier airplane and released. The spaceship then fires its rocket motor to power it to about 62 miles (100 km) above Earth. Virgin Galactic was considered the front runner among a handful of U.S. companies pioneering the space frontier for well-heeled tourists. A second U.S. company, privately owned XCOR Aerospace, is developing a different type of suborbital spaceship that carries just one passenger seated alongside a pilot. Test flights of the spaceplane, called Lynx, are expected to begin early next year and rides sell for $95,000. Branson had targeted starting service as early as next February, but now the company needs a new space plane. A second is more than 60 percent finished, and it was not clear how Friday's accident would affect construction and the company's plans for passenger service. Seven people have already traveled to the International Space Station as tourists, aboard Russian Soyuz rockets and paying tens of millions of dollars for journeys lasting up to 15 days. David Logsdon, senior director of the Space Enterprise Council at technology industry group TechAmerica, said he expected the accidents to trigger congressional hearings and additional oversight of commercial human spaceflight and similar projects. "It's a minor setback. It may slow things down a little -- a few years," Logsdon told Reuters, noting that rocket failures were common during the early days of the NASA space program. "We've become much more risk averse, but space flight is an inherently risky business," he said. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott, Irene Klotz and Andrea Shalal; editing by Peter Henderson)
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily BeastFirst, she stopped FBI special agents from even glancing at the classified documents they recovered from Mar-a-Lago. Then she appointed a special court referee that former President Donald Trump wanted to slow down the investigation over his mishandling of classified documents.But now, it’s clear District Court Judge Aileen Cannon already knew the Department of Justice was ready to hand Trump back a ton of personal records six days before she cla
The Republican U.S. Senate candidate claimed to have no idea who the woman could be. But apparently she's the mother of one of his kids.
Things are looking rockier than ever for Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady. On the very same day news broke of the couple hiring their own prospective divorce lawyers, Bündchen was spotted out with their children — Benjamin, 12, and Vivian, 9 — sans wedding ring. The mom of two was seen toting her kids to […]
- Rams Wire
The streaker who was leveled by Wagner on Monday night filed a police report against the #Rams linebacker
Another day, another slay.
- Business Insider
Trump said the FBI found classified documents at his home because federal workers packed them. But emails Bloomberg got show boxes were already packed when movers arrived.
Emails show a GSA agent repeatedly telling Trump's team they can't use tax dollars to ship personal items, including gifts and a Trump painting.
The Georgia Republican accused the transportation secretary of trying to “emasculate the way we drive” by supporting electric cars.
- Yahoo Life
Carmen Dell’Orefice, oldest living supermodel, poses nude in stunning photoshoot: 'We're not finished until the day we’re finished'
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- NBC Sports BayArea
For Dusty Baker, there is zero debate regarding who the true home run king is.
Plus, what he made when he moved from New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Rams Wire
Wagner is not amused by the streaker's action, and showed no remorse for his actions.
A teacher in Iredell County is accused of sending a nude image and sexually explicit video of herself to a student, according to the sheriff’s office.
The former president's legal team “made the mistake of using a word that they have not used before," said "The Last Word” anchor.
- Yahoo TV
Kanye West disses Kim Kardashian's outfit: 'Made me so mad I would have went to jail before I went out in that'
A year later, the exes are still critiquing each other's looks.
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- The Des Moines Register
With three games to go in the regular season, the Perry High School football program has forfeited the remainder of the varsity season.
- Business Insider
The Navy just deployed its $13 billion aircraft carrier, which was both commissioned and panned by Trump, who ranted: 'It just doesn't look right'
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After losing their second quarterback in as many weeks, the Patriots turned to a familiar face that has already won a Super Bowl with the team to help bolster a QB room searching for healthy bodies. No, it’s not Tom Brady.
- Ukrayinska Pravda
"237 projectiles in 40 minutes": Ukraine's Defence Intelligence intercepts conversation about Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south
"UKRAINSKA PRAVDA" - WEDNESDAY, 5 OCTOBER 2022, 12:59 Ukrainian intelligence has posted an intercepted phone call in which a Russian occupier is telling his brother in Russia about the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast.
“I think that was what upset him the most," the New York Times reporter told "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert.