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The day in numbers: Two million

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Two million: The number of air miles clocked up by British businessman Alan Watts to win the chance to become the first "air miles astronaut" aboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship in 2009.

50: The number of Upper Class flights the 51-year-old made to his holiday home in Florida in order to rack up the miles over the past six years. He also spent thousands of pounds on a Virgin credit card.

$200,000: The cost of a flight aboard Virgin Galactic when it launches in 2009. "When we first contacted Alan to let him know he had qualified for this unique offer, I think he thought it was a prank call," said Virgin boss Richard Branson.

$200 million: The cost of the space port and mission control center Virgin is to build on a 27 square-mile area in southern New Mexico.

447: The number of astronauts who have been into space since Yuri Gagarin's first flight in 1961.

1,000: The number of "space tourists" who have signed up for the experience during Virgin Galactic's first year of commercial flights.

120: The distance in kilometers (75 miles) above the earth Watts and other passengers will travel during the two-and-a-half hour flight.

4,800: The speed in kilometers per hour (3,000 mph) the spacecraft will travel. "This is the most dangerous thing I've ever done," said Watts. "Until now, the most dangerous thing I've ever done is wire a plug."


story.watts.jpg

Alan Watts: "This is the most dangerous thing I've ever done."

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