No, that headline is not a joke.
Sir Richard Branson today announced that he had signed a licensing deal to create a fleet of spacecraft offering commercial flights to space by 2007-8.
Speaking at the launch of Virgin Galactic Airways, Sir Richard said he planned to invest £60m in space tourism, making it accessible to the general public.
Branson has signed a deal with Mojave Aerospace Ventures and plans to build a fleet of spcaecraft which will take up to five passengers into space at a time, at a cost of about £115,000. He estimates that his fleet will carry 3,000 amateur astronauts into space over a period of five years. The first of them will be, of course, Sir Richard Branson.
Whether this idea takes off or not, the idea of space tourism just a got a whole lot more mainstream. And somebody needs to tell Branson about this idea.