Frequent Flyer Miles Good for Space Travel

Frequent flyer miles will for the first time be good beyond this planet, based on a new offering from Virgin Atlantic airways and its space-related sister company Virgin Galactic.

Flying Club members will be able to convert their regular miles into space miles. To get to space, members will need to log 2 million miles down here.

"A journey into space seems like a distant dream for many but this deal makes it more even more achievable for our frequent travelers to become astronauts," said Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Galactic. "We expect the first Virgin Galactic space flight to take place in 2008 which gives our Flying Club members time to save up all their miles."

Virgin Galactic commercial flights are expected to cost $200,000 initially but the company expect prices to fall over time.

Virgin Galactic will own and operate privately built spaceships, modeled on the history-making SpaceShipOne craft, which won the Ansari X-prize for repeat trips to space by a privately built craft.

American Express, in partnership with space tourism firm Space Adventures, previously made a similar offering for card users who register for the special program and then save 20 million points.

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