MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) -- Space tourism is closer to reality.
The $8 million Mojave Desert production plant where the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships will be built has been completed and production is expected to begin at the end of the month.
The Spaceship Co. facility is a joint venture of Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic.
Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/pZqOWE ) that completion of the production facility moves Galactic closer to sending paying passengers into space. A ticket costs $200,000.
Hundreds of public officials and reporters were invited Monday to tour the giant hangar where the White Knight and SpaceShipTwo craft will be built.