Space tourism is now becoming a reality. After Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos’s space flights, there was a buzz when commoners will get a chance to travel to space. Virgin Galactic has now announced to take commercial bookings. The American spaceflight company has reopened ticket sales. Virgin Galactic’s reopening of ticket sales comes after Richard Branson’s successful space trip. The company is offering a seat for USD 450,000. Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, flew to the edge of on July 11. This was the first-ever manned space trip. He along with three Virgin Galactic employees flew aboard SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes. It is a Suborbital spaceplane designed by Virgin Galactic for space tourism.
The current price is more than double what the company had announced before closing the sales in 2014 when the flight had met an accident during a test flight. Virgin Galactic said that it has reported a massive surge in consumer interest after Richard’s flight. The company said that it is excited to resume bookings. The tickets are initially available for the Spacefarer community. Virgin Galactic said that space tourism will bring wonders to people. It will open the door to a new industry and offer a new kind of experience. The company said that Richard wants to make space more accessible to humans. Virgin Galactic said that it is targeting to launch the first flight by September end.
Notably, Virgin Galactic has already a backlog of around 600 passengers who wish to fly to space first. At least 1,000 likely passengers have also deposited USD 1,000 with the company to reserve seats. Virgin Galactic said that it will offer multiple options to hitch rides. This includes a single-seat, package for couples or friends, or family. The company is also offering a package for a full-flight buyout. Notably, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has booked a seat for a space ride aboard Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane. He has paid USD 250,000 for a seat. Musk’s company is already sending crew for trips to the ISS. It is now planning to send an all-civilian crew into orbit in September.