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Learning English - Words in the News
27 September, 2004 - Published 12:08 GMT
Sir Richard Branson on space trip
Richard Branson's Virgin
Richard Branson's Virgin

The British businessman, Richard Branson, has announced plans for the world's first commercial passenger flights into space. His company, Virgin Airlines, is collaborating with Burt Rutan and Paul Allen, two men involved in another project called SpaceShipOne, which made the first private manned space flight in June. Richard Branson explained the details to the BBC:

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We're building five five-manned spacecraft ready for launch with passengers in three years' time. We're using the technology that's been developed by Burt Rutan with SpaceShipOne, which took off in June, and it's going to have two more flights - one this Wednesday, and one next week, from the Mojave desert, and it will enable people to go into space, to become astronauts, to see the earth, to enjoy weightlessness, and we're going to be able to do it initially - not cheap - for about a hundred thousand pounds, but in time we hope to get the prices down to levels where hopefully masses of people will be able to experience space.

Listen to the words

manned spacecraft
a space vehicle with people on it

sending out into space

took off
left the ground

make it possible

being without weight in low gravity

at first

in time

to get the prices down
to reduce the cost

masses of people
lots of people

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