$450,000 is the price you will have to pay for a suborbital flight. On 11 July, a successful suborbital flight marked the dawn of a new era. Virgin Galactic’s founder was aboard the flight that made the maiden voyage into the earth’s orbit. This particular event has encouraged the firm to go for more such flights for people at the price mentioned above.
Fully commercial flights will be available for people around the third quarter of the next year, said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic. VSS Unity spaceplane and extensive upgrades of Virgin’s Eve carrier jet are being carried out to reduce the time of a round trip.
The commercial operations were initially slotted for earlier dates, but now it is inevitable that it would take more time than expected. However, the company is close to “completing our test flight program and launching commercial passenger service in ’22,” Colglazier said. He said so after analysing the successful results of the piloted flights, which also include the Branson voyage to space.
Virgin stated that paying customers will also be given this once in a lifetime experience by the third quarter of the coming week. When is July, Richard Branson flew to the edge of space; he was seen floating in the VSS Unity at the edge of space.
“And as we advance towards that goal, we are excited to announce today that we will immediately open ticket sales to our significant list of early hand-raisers, prioritizing our spacefarer community who, as promised, will be given first opportunity to reserve their place to space.”
He added that Virgin has developed a “purposeful range of product offerings to satisfy the different ways people wanted to share this experience.”
“For the private astronaut flights, our products will include a single-seat, a multi-seat couples, families and friends package and a full-flight buyout,” he said. “Prices for this next phase of private astronaut sales will begin at $450,000 per seat. Microgravity research and professional astronaut training flights remain priced at $600,000 on a per-seat equivalent basis.
Space enthusiasts over 600 made payments on flights way earlier in the program; at the time, tickets were thought to be somewhere in the bracket of $250,000 per seat.
“We are not just watching history be made; we are making it happen together,” Virgin tweeted. “Thank you for joining us on this journey into the next era of space travel. We invite you to visit our website to register for updates and future ticket information.”
Virgin Galactic is now in direct competition with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to sell space tours to wealthy and willing space tourists. Virgin Galactic has also brought in scene 4 piloted flights; the most recent flights were carried out on Jul 11th when Branson, along with 2 pilots and 3 company employees, went space-bound.
Two more New Shepard launches by blue origin are planned later this year, presumably carrying paying customers. Virgin’s next flight is slotted for late September, Unity 23. In the same time period, the company will begin flight testing another spaceplane, the VSS Imagine. “We expect Eve to complete its enhancement program around mid-year 2022,” Colglazier said. “In early Q3, Imagine is planned to begin (glide) flight testing and Unity 24 will fly a full crew of mission specialists to confirm the cabin interior adjustments are functioning as planned. Unity 25, our first commercial private astronaut fight, is planned for late Q3.”