This is cool:

Long-haul trips could be made in spaceships instead of planes in 20 years’ time if Virgin’s efforts to commercialize space travel succeed, the president of Virgin Galactic told Reuters in an interview.

Will Whitehorn said Virgin’s plans to take tourists into space were just a first stage that could open up a range of possibilities for the company including space science, computer server farms in space and replacing long-haul flights.

Virgin Galactic, part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has collected $40 million in deposits from would-be space tourists including physicist Stephen Hawking and ex-racing driver Niki Lauda, and hopes to start commercial trips within two years.

Whitehorn said the bookings from 300 people willing to pay $200,000 each for a space flight had convinced Virgin the venture was viable. It is currently running test flights and hopes soon to win a license from the Federal Aviation Authority.

Great Britain to Australia in 2 and 1/2 hours. Talk about a global village.