• Tuesday, May 17, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Virgin Galactic restarting space tickets from $450,000

  • Published at 02:52 pm August 6th, 2021
Virgin Galactic Spaceship
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo space plane Unity returns to earth after the mothership separated, at Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021 AFP

The next test flight will come in September and involve members of the Italian Air Force

After flying its founder Richard Branson to space, Virgin Galactic is restarting ticket sales beginning at $450,000, the company announced on Thursday.

The new price is about double the $200,000 to $250,000 paid by around 600 people who previously booked seats on Virgin's spaceship between 2005 and 2014, as the company looks to cash in on the success of last month's fully-crewed test flight.

"We are excited to announce the reopening of sales effective today," said CEO Michael Colglazier in a statement, with first dibs going to people on a waiting list.

"As we endeavour to bring the wonder of space to a broad global population, we are delighted to open the door to an entirely new industry and consumer experience."

On July 11, Branson beat Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos to space in a battle between the billionaires. Bezos achieved the feat nine days later.

Billionaire Richard Branson makes a statement as crew members Beth Moses and Sirisha Bandla float in zero gravity on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after reaching the edge of space on July 11, 2021 / Reuters

The next test flight will come in September and involve members of the Italian Air Force.

There will be one further test after the September mission, then the first commercial flights will take place in the third quarter of 2022, Colglazier said in an earnings call.

The offerings for customers will include a single seat; multi-seats for couples, friends or family; and a full-flight buyout.

Two free seats on an early flight are up for grabs in a prize draw, with registrations open until September 1.

The spaceplane was originally designed to carry six crew, but last month's flight, which was described as "fully-crewed," had just four -- suggesting this is the current number.

Virgin's space experience involves an air-launched spaceplane, VSS Unity, that takes off attached to the belly of a massive carrier plane from a runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

After gaining altitude, the spaceplane detaches from its mothership and ignites its rocket engine, ascending to beyond 50 miles (80 kilometers) above sea level. 

Passengers unbuckle and experience a few minutes of weightlessness before the plane glides back to the runway to land.

The company has come under fire for its carbon footprint, which is roughly equivalent to a transatlantic flight but for far fewer people. It has said it is examining the possibility of offsetting its emissions.

"Our long-term objective is to offer a near-daily cadence of space flights, and not just from New Mexico, but from multiple locations around the world," CFO Doug Ahrens said during the call.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail