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From left to right: Rubens Barrichello, Sir Richard Branson, Niki Lauda

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They've launched an original MINI off a giant snow-covered ski jump, nearly sent a Reliant Robin into orbit and now, the Top Gear crew may toy with space exploration again, except this time, they'll strap themselves inside before pulling the trigger. According to Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, the BBC approached his company looking to launch Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond into space for a future Top Gear episode. Virgin hopes to send its first commercial flight int

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Richard Branson, he of the various Virgin Enterprises, has attached its name to a staggering array of ventures. Not the least of those is Virgin Galactic, which is currently hard at work sending space-age aircraft into heretofore uncharted territory. Space Ship Two and White Knight Two are the two latest machines going airborne for the firm, and these two craft will soon be carrying instruments for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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