VIRGIN GALACTIC

North Texas Space Enthusiasts Excited About Possibilities Surrounding Space Tourism

The North Texas chapter of the National Space Society aims to inform and inspire people about the exciting things happening with space

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A group of North Texans closely watched the launch of Virgin Galatic's expedition to the edge of space Sunday.

Ken Ruffin is president of the North Texas chapter of the National Space Society, which advocates for space exploration, development and settlement.

"It was like a relief," Ruffin said. "Finally. Finally, this is happening."

Ruffin said he watched the launch before he hosted the chapter's first in-person meeting since before the pandemic.

"I'm not one of the billionaires investing in one of these companies but it was still a load taken off my shoulders because it was successful," Ruffin said.

Ruffin said the launch by Virgin Galactic, and the launches planned by other private companies later this year, are just the first steps toward making space more accessible.

Ruffin said while it sounds like science fiction, scientists and engineers are working toward space development and future settlement beyond planet Earth and Sunday's launch played a small, but important role.

"Suborbital is just a baby step leading to bigger and better things yet to come," Ruffin said.

Ruffin said the North Texas chapter of the NSS aims to inform and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds about the cool and exciting things happening with space and often gives presentations to school and community groups.

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