News The third test flight of the commercial spaceship took it to a record 71,000 feet

The firm hopes to take first ever tourists to space later this year. Onboard cameras were able to capture its rocket-powered engine, the first time it has been used

£2,399 - Caribtours

Travel challenge

Winter sun in Barbados after Christmas

Bright Christmas: baggage boost from Little Red

Deals of the week - baggage boost, luxury Madeira, off-season Italy

Under £200... Extra baggage for the sales

Virgin Atlantic's domestic airline, Little Red, is doubling its baggage allowance between Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Manchester and Heathrow. Passengers can check in two 23kg bags from 26 December to 2 February. There's also a sale on fares, with returns from £88-£99. virgin-atlantic.com

Bitcoins in space: Virgin Galactic to accept payment in digital currency, says Richard Branson

6 minutes of weightlessness will now cost you $250,000 or around 326 Bitcoins

£1,099 - BA Holidays

Travel challenge

A city break in Cape Town

Letters: A missive from Sir Richard Branson

This letter appears in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

Sir Richard Branson lifted his Harris Tweed Kilt at Edinburgh airport in April to launch the new route from London

Virgin domestic flights a ‘disaster’ as passengers stick with no-frills rivals

Flights branded as 'Little Red' have experienced low sales

Proposed new rules on pilots’ working hours could lead to air crews flying while 'dangerously fatigued', union officials have warned

British pilots will be ‘dangerously fatigued’ under proposed EU law, says union

Proposed new rules on pilots’ working hours could lead to air crews flying while “dangerously fatigued”, union officials have warned ahead of a key vote by MEPs.

Travel agenda

From holiday snaps apps and photography workshops to watching wolves in Ethiopia

Virgin passenger jet forced to emergency land due to 'technical fault' between Heathrow and New York

Passengers on a Virgin Atlantic flight were left stranded in Canadian airport overnight after the plane carrying them was forced to make an emergency landing.

As Brazil hots up for next year's World Cup, Spanish carrier Air Europa has announced that it will start flying from Madrid to Sao Paulo on 16 December

Travel agenda

Where to go and what to know

Richard Branson, dressed up as an air stewardess

The end of the free upgrade: the great airline business upgrade auction is ready for take-off

A free move into business class could become a thing of a past as the major airlines look to raise extra revenue online

Max Kpakio, 36, has told an employment tribunal that he was discriminated against by Virgin Atlantic because of his name.

Liberian man who claimed he wasn't offered a job by Virgin Atlantic because of his African name loses race bias claim

A job hunter who accused Virgin Atlantic of racial discrimination has lost his case.

Max Kpakio, 36, has told an employment tribunal that he was discriminated against by Virgin Atlantic because of his name.

Liberian man claims he wasn't offered a job by Virgin Atlantic because of his African name

He claims when he sent a worse CV with an English name, he was offered an interview and treated differently

Branson claims Heathrow slots are 'crumbs off the table' as his new airline brand Little Red launches

Sir Richard Branson has claimed that his Virgin Atlantic carrier had been given just some "crumbs off the table" as he launched a new domestic airline brand.

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Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
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Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
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Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
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Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
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Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
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Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
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The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment