A Journey to Space in Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic? $450,000,


If you’re hoping to buy someone a ticket to space Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceplanes, you’ll probably wish you had bought it seven years ago.

On Thursday, Virgin Galactic announced that it has resumed ticket sales. Flights over 50 miles and offers about four minutes of freefall and a view of Earth against the darkness of space.

Price: at least $450,000 per seat.

That’s $200,000 more than the company requested in 2014 before suspending sales after its first spaceplane, VSS Enterprise, crashed during a test flight. About 600 people have tickets from the previous sale round.

If you haven’t made a refundable deposit of $1000, you’ll have to wait even longer. Virgin Galactic will initially offer tickets to 1,000 people who can book a waiting list for ticket sales to resume.

Virgin Galactic’s CEO, Michael Colglazier, acknowledged during a conversation with industry analysts as the company announced its quarterly earnings that the higher price would lead to higher revenues and please shareholders. However, he said, space travel still “offers such great value that people who have experienced it with us can’t help but recommend it.”

While previous customers’ tickets are now relatively inexpensive, they’ve been waiting longer than they’ve been waiting for in years. Over the years, Mr. Branson has repeatedly said he hopes commercial flights will begin soon.

Mr. Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 and initially expected commercial flights to begin in 2008. But the development of rocket aircraft was much more difficult and slower than planned. Mr Branson finally boarded the plane as one of six people during a test flight in July.

The next flight is scheduled for late September. It’s still a test flight, but it will carry paying customers – the Italian Air Force purchased the flight for two of its researchers to experiment with.

Virgin Galactic will then pause operations for upgrades to the VSS Unity spaceplane and the carrier plane that lifts it to nearly 45,000 feet above the ground, and release it for its short flight into space.

Mr Colglazier said that in the middle of 2022, Virgin Galactic plans another test flight to validate the upgrades and then begin commercial operations. From there, Virgin Galactic hopes to increase the speed of flights as additional spaceplanes enter service.

Mr Colglazier said he expects repeat customers, even at the sky-high price. “We believe this experience is so unique and compelling that it will provide multiple repeat experiences with friends and family at multiple spaceports around the world,” he said.

rocket company founded by Blue Origin Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s competitor in the suborbital space tourism market has recently started selling tickets on its New Shepard spacecraft, which launches like rockets instead of airplanes and travels slightly higher than 62 miles. For first flightCarrying Mr. Bezos, Blue Origin auctioned off a seat for $28 million and went to Mr. Bezos’ space-focused charity Club for the Future.

blue origin started selling seats to people Who participated in the auction, but did not disclose the current ticket price or how many people bought tickets.


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