Branson to Marry First Space Couple


Caption: The matrimonial limo of the future?

We’ve long been proponents of space tourism, and its potential to lead humanity to new levels of experience.

But we’re the first to admit that we hadn’t thought space tourism would lead so quickly to the wedding altar.

The Daily Mail

Virgin Galactic boss Sir Richard Branson is planning to set yet another record – by becoming the first man to marry a couple in space.

The 58-year-old billionaire intends to conduct a ceremony 70 miles above the Earth on the first Galactic sub-orbital flight next year.

He has already officiated at one wedding in mid-air. Last year he was ordained for the day in an online church to marry Virgin America marketing director Dimitrios Papadognonas and Coco Jones on a Virgin flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas….

A spokesman for Virgin Galactic told The Mail on Sunday: "We have had two bookings involving marriage, one to get married in space and the other for the couple to have their honeymoon in space.

"It is possible that Richard could obtain a licence to conduct the marriage."

The couple who have booked in for a honeymoon on the £100,000-a-ticket maiden flight are Virgin Galactic adviser George Whitesides and his new wife, Loretta Hidalgo.

The Virgin Galactic space project is progressing at a dramatic rate and customers will take part in the first test flights this summer.

We suppose we should have seen this coming, what with the rise in popularity of destination weddings. Not to mention the Mile High Club.

But how will they keep the cans from falling off the back of SpaceShipTwo

Perhaps we’re being too flippant. The respected French scientific writer Pierre Kohler might tsk tsk us for our snark. "The issue of sex in space is a serious one," he says:

"The experiments carried out so far relate to missions planned for married couples on the future International Space Station, the successor to Mir. Scientists need to know how far sexual relations are possible without gravity."

He cites a confidential Nasa report on a space shuttle mission in 1996. A project codenamed STS-XX was to explore sexual positions possible in a weightless atmosphere.

Twenty positions were tested by computer simulation to obtain the best 10, he says. "Two guinea pigs then tested them in real zero-gravity conditions. The results were videotaped but are considered so sensitive that even Nasa was only given a censored version."

Censored guinea pigs? It just gets better and better.

The guinea pigs caught the attention of quite a few internet surfers, who, we’re told, spend an inordinate amount of time looking for such things. 

We’re reminded of what futurist Arthur C. Clarke once speculated about the future of mankind in space. "Weightlessness will bring new forms of erotica," he said. "About time, too.”