How Much Does It Cost to Fly Virgin Galactic into Space?

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Shortly after Richard Branson re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday, he and other employees of the Virgin Galactic initiative bragged that the company would greatly expand opportunities for the general public to travel to space. For the time being, these otherworldly visions and feelings of weightlessness will still be held in the rarest air.

The initial cost of a seat on one of the company’s spaceships $200,000. the company later increased the price to $250,000. It later ceased sales after an accident during a test flight in 2014. Virgin Galactic’s CEO, Michael Colglazier, said the price will likely rise again when the company resumes sales later this year.

“We’re here to make space more accessible to everyone,” said Mr Branson as he was presented with astronaut wings after his milestone flight on Sunday.

For the vast majority of Americans, the cost of such a trip is out of reach. In the future, Virgin Galactic and other spaceflight companies hope that expanding opportunities to fly into space will reduce the cost of a ticket. But for now, primarily people with spare cash equivalent to the cost of some homes will be able to spend a few minutes at the edge of space.

However, the company estimated on Sunday that more than 600 people from nearly 60 countries signed up for one of its flights. First-paying SpaceShipTwo passengers could start flying next year after the company completes two more test flights.

During Virgin Galactic’s live broadcast on Sunday, some waiting space tourists talked about how they’re looking forward to the flights. They had been invited to watch Mr Branson’s flight from Spaceport America in New Mexico. There was no discussion about the high cost of space travel, which is not limited to Virgin Galactic.

An unnamed passenger paid $28 million to join Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as rocket company Blue Origin launches its New Shepard rocket and capsule later this month. The company has yet to announce the standard fare for a trip by spacecraft when Mr. Bezos is not in the next seat.

While the price of a short suborbital trip with Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin is expensive, even higher trips to orbit and beyond are downright, well, astronomical.

The three paid $55 million each to Axiom Space in Houston to fly SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle to the International Space Station early next year.

But not all orbits into space will contain six or seven digits. On Sunday, Mr. Branson announced that Virgin Galactic will give two tickets to space. draws Initiative with philanthropic fundraising platform Omaze.

No donation is required to win, according to Omaze, which says Space for Humanity, a nonprofit organization, will work to “democratize space and send citizen astronauts from diverse racial, economic, and disciplinary backgrounds into space.”

“If you have a dream, now is the time to make it happen,” said Branson.

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