A venture capitalist, one of the first to sign up for Sir Richard Branson's nascent Virgin Galactic space-tourism flights, has just realized that he's too old to seek the final frontier and wants his money back.
It's hard to find fault with Alan Walton—who skydived over Mount Everest and made it to the North Pole before ponying up $200,000 to be one of the first 100 people on board Virgin Galactic's space flights, which would, allegedly, allow private citizens to see the curvature of the earth and feel their weightlessness in the great black yonder.
Problem is, Walton bought that ticket back in 2004, when Branson licensed the technology from SpaceShipOne, which launched the first privately financed manned ship into space. Today Walton is 75 years old, and, with no actual Virgin Galactic flight on the horizon, he wants his money back. According to an Associated Press report:
Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said he expected powered test flights to begin sometime next year. Commercial service will start up after the company gets a license from the Federal Aviation Administration, he said.
About 450 ticket-holders are in line to fly with Virgin Galactic. A small number of people—fewer than 10—dropped out due to medical and other reasons, Whitesides said.
"Folks are tremendously loyal and excited," he said. "They want us to do it safely. They want us to take our time and make sure we got it right."
Unfortunately for Walton, "getting it right" took longer than he was willing to wait. Virgin Galactic refunded his $200,000.
(Via The Mary Sue)