Sir Richard Branson, the founder and president of Virgin Galactic, says that his commercial spacecraft will be carrying its first paying customers within a year. Virgin’s initial flights will be sub-orbital, but Sir Richard acknowledges that his long-term goal is orbital flight — he just won’t say when that will happen.
In other news, the European debt crisis may be spreading to Italy. Although Italy’s economy is strong, it has an enormous amount of public debt, and may become vulnerable if Portugal or Spain gets bailed out. France holds a lot of Italian debt, so it may be next.
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