Ban Comic Sans

Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson has just announced that he is licensing Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne technology so that by 2010, he can launch a commercial space-tourism airline. The title? Virgin Galactic. He’s already got a web site up for it, and even a corporate logo. And you gotta know that the designer who created that logo had the single best day of his or her entire career. “Hey, listen, we’re launching a spaceship airline. Can you make us a logo by 4 o’clock?” According to the New York Times, the flights will cost $190,000 (including training), will last three hours, and will include four minutes of weightlessness, as well as a cocktail.

Check out the site for more details, including the florid Carl-Sagan-remix-a-go-go prose:

As you hurtle through the edges of the atmosphere, through the panoramic individual windows you will be able to see the cobalt blue sky turn to mauve and indigo and finally black. Out will come the stars, clear and bright… even though it is daytime! [snip]

The ship will manoeuvre, so you can look for the first time back at the planet you have just come from. The view will be over a thousand miles in any direction. That’s like seeing North Africa if you were in a spaceship above London or Miami from overhead Washington DC. You will see the clarity of the solar system and the harshness of the sun.

It will be humbling. It will be spiritual.

Billions and billions of stars. Beelions and beelions.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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