Branson plans to build Space Hotel

Strapped in, flat on their backs, passengers will accelerate to 4000km/h in just 25 seconds. For no more than five minutes they will float about, 130km above planet Earth. On-board lavatory and in-flight drinks? Not a chance. And the price for this brief excursion? Ј110,000 ($29,860).

Richard Branson, the master of combining publicity coups with redrawing aviation boundaries, yesterday unveiled his latest project to redefine air travel - the first commercial space flights.

By 2007, the British billionaire plans to offer five wealthy &to=http://' target=_blank>space tourists at a time the chance to take three-hour trips on a fleet of rocket-powered craft that will take them into space but stop short of going into orbit.

Never one to understate his &to=http://' target=_blank>ambitions, Branson said he hoped to add a space hotel to his portfolio within his lifetime and maybe even fly to the moon, wrote New Zealnad Herald.

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