Courtesy of Ben Mautner (Creative Commons) (link).
Virgin Galactic is a private space company that was founded in 2004 by an association called the Virgin Group. Right now Virgin Galactic is one of the few small, private, space tourism companies. For example, Armadillo Aerospace, Space Adventures, and Rocket Plane, (which are all space companies).Virgin Galactic’s mission is to fly 500 passengers a year to an altitude of about 100 km, allowing the passengers to experience weightlessness for about 6 minutes. Each seat will be sold for at least 200,000 US dollars. Virgin Galactic has commissioned Burt Rutan to design a bigger and better version of his spacecraft, called SpaceShipTwo. It will have eight seats so there can be two pilots and six passengers. The flights of actual citizens on SpaceShipTwo are expected to take place in 2009.