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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 15:33 GMT
Island's space tourism take off
Richard Branson
Richard Branson will also speak at the conference.
The Isle of Man's drive to cash in on the space tourism trade has received a major boost.

Tim Craine, the Manx Government's Director of E-Commerce has been invited to address a conference on space tourism in the USA later in the year.

Other top speakers at the conference in New Mexico will include Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

The government hopes companies involved in space tourism will register their businesses on the island.

Mr Craine said the conference in New Mexico will be a great opportunity for the island.

'Win-win situation'

"Huge amounts of money are being put into space tourism these days - the people who have made their money in e-business are now looking for the next opportunity," he said.

Mr Craine described the conference as a "win-win" situation for the island.

In December Treasury Minister Alan Bell told Tynwald that space travel was becoming an important part of the Manx economy, with four of the world's largest satellite launch companies and operators incorporated on the island.

Local companies now manufacture components for the US Government's space agency NASA.

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic aims to take people into space from a spaceport in New Mexico by the end of this decade.

US draws up space tourism rules
08 Jan 06 |  Science/Nature
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01 Oct 04 |  Have Your Say
Nasa outlines space tourist criteria
01 Feb 02 |  Science/Nature
Space tourism: Will it catch on?
09 May 01 |  Talking Point
Space Tourism ready for take-off
21 Apr 99 |  Science/Nature


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