Virgin Galactic selling tickets to space for an out-of-this-world price – £325,200
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The price for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of flying to the edge of space keeps going up, up and up.
Virgin Galactic, billionaire Richard Branson’s spaceflight venture, has reopened ticket sales for seats on its suborbital rocket plane for the first time in nearly 10 years. But if you want to take in that incredible view Branson saw when he took a flight on the Unity craft on 11 July, be prepared to cough up a small fortune.
How steep is the price? About £325,200 ($450,000) per ticket.
Virgin Galactic is offering several types of opportunities for deep-pocketed thrill-seekers. The first is the single-seat reservation that costs about £325,200 ($450,000), a substantial bump from the initial prices years ago when they were sold for between £144,565 and £180,700 ($200,000 and $250,000).
The second tier is the chance for a family or group of friends to buy multiple seats, and the third is the option to reserve all six seats on a given flight which, according to CEO Michael Colglazier, will cost a “modest premium.” The fact the company didn’t put a number on the “modest premium” leads us to believe it will be anything but a modest increase.
There will also be seats made available for “microgravity research and professional astronaut training,” which will be priced at more than £430,000 ($600,000) apiece.
Tickets will be first offered to the people who joined Virgin Galactic’s Spacefarer Community in recent months and put down a $1,000 deposit. A company spokesperson says about a thousand people have put deposits down, signaling a strong interest in the brief journey more than 80 kilometres above Earth.
Wall Street appears to be optimistic about commercial passenger space travel. Shares of the company jumped 5% when tickets were announced last week. Maybe one reason they’re bullish on Virgin Galactic’s prospects is that it already has 600 people with purchased tickets waiting for their chance to visit space.
Virgin Galactic received approval from the U.S. aviation safety regulator to fly people to space in June. As TPG reported earlier, passengers who fly on Virgin Galactic trips to space will earn astronaut wings.
Feature photo by Gene Blevins/AFP/Getty Images.
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