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Middle East Takes One Step Closer to Space

Residents of the Arabian peninsula came a step closer to space exploration this week after a United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) investment house bought a large stake in the world’s first project to launch passenger flights into space. Aabar, an investment house linked to the government of Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E.’s capital, announced a $280 million agreement Wednesday to take a 32 percent equity stake in Virgin Galactic, set to be the world’s first commercial ‘spaceline.’ The deal gives Aabar exclusive rights to the pilot the program in the Middle East and includes a $100 million plan to build a spaceport in the U.A.E. The spaceline, set to launch within two years, has to date been wholly owned and funded by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. While Virgin has yet to successfully take commercial passengers on a round-trip journey into space, the company has already taken reservations from 300 future passengers, each of whom has paid $200,000 for the ticket. Virgin has invested a further $100 million into the venture. Read on:
http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=25984 [1]