Space Tourism company Virgin Galactic said on Thursday that it is open for bookings on its SpaceShipTwo spaceplane, with prices starting from $450,000 per seat.
The announcement comes after Virgin Galactic’s Unity 22 Mission on 11 July, in which Virgin founder and billionaire Richard Branson successfully flew to the edge of space on the company’s space tourism vehicle that can carry four passengers about 80 km high for a few minutes of weightlessness.
“Leveraging the surge in consumer interest following the Unity 22 flight, we are excited to announce the reopening of sales effective today, beginning with our Spacefarer community,” the company noted in its second-quarter earnings release.
“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,” it added.
The company initially sold tickets for space tourism at about $200,000 per seat, but closed sales following a fatal accident during a test flight in 2014.
Now after the successful flight involving Branson and three colleagues, the company says its next launch is targeted for late September from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
“In the second quarter, we made meaningful progress towards commencing commercial service in 2022. We successfully completed two spaceflights from New Mexico — the latest carrying a full crew of mission specialists in the cabin and garnering an extraordinary global media and consumer response,” said Michael Colglazier, chief executive of Virgin Galactic.
“In addition, we received FAA approval to expand our existing launch licence, marking the first time the FAA has licensed a Spaceline to fly customers to space,” Colglazier said.
The company said it will have three consumer offerings – a single seat, a multi-seat for couples, friends, and families, as well as a full-flight buy out.
“Pricing for these offers will begin at $450,000 per seat. Sales will initially open to the company’s significant list of early hand-raisers, prioritising the Spacefarer Community, who, as promised, will be given first opportunity to reserve their place in space. A follow-on priority list will be opened to customers interested in reserving future spaceflights,” the Virgin Galactic statement noted.
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