Virgin Galactic Rejects Million-Dollar Offer to Film Sex Video

Virgin Galactic Rejects Million-Dollar Offer to Film Sex Video
An artist's rendition of SpaceShipTwo as it journeys in suborbital space above Earth. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, unveiled a 1/16th scale model of the company's two-piece space launch vehicle in New York City on Jan. 23, 2008. The finished vehicle is expected to carry up to eight astronauts into space. (Image credit: Virgin Galactic/sky26)

GLASGOW,Scotland — The private company planning to take wealthytourists to the edge of the atmosphere starting in late 2009 or early 2010 hasrefused a million-dollar proposal to film a sex video while the participantsare floating gravity free, the company's president said.

WillWhitehorn, president of VirginGalactic, said the offer, from an unidentified party, "was $1 million,up front, for a sex-in-space movie. That was money we had to refuse, I'mafraid."

Whitehorn disclosedthe rejected transaction here Sept. 30 during the International AstronauticalCongress. He said Virgin Galactic, part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, isplanning to begin flights of the WhiteKnightTwoaircraft in late 2009 or early 2010 from Sierra County, N.M.

Theaircraft will carrythe SpaceShipTwo craft, which is released during flight and then climbs to100 kilometers in altitude to offer fee-paying passengers around five minutesof weightlessness as the vehicle approaches the limits of the Earth'satmosphere.

VirginGalactic is charging about $200,000 per person for the two-hour flight. Thecompany has received $40 million in deposits from 280 customers, Whitehornsaid. Earlier this year, Whitehorn estimated that Virgin Galactic had spentsome $100 million developingits business, mainly in research and development of the aircraft by ScaledComposites LLC of Mojave, Calif.

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Charles Q. Choi
Contributing Writer

Charles Q. Choi is a contributing writer for and Live Science. He covers all things human origins and astronomy as well as physics, animals and general science topics. Charles has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. Charles has visited every continent on Earth, drinking rancid yak butter tea in Lhasa, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos and even climbing an iceberg in Antarctica. Visit him at