Branson believes that space tourism niche will have room for 20 companies13th Jul 2021
Sir Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Galactic, believes that the space tourism niche has room for at least 20 companies. Right now, several businesses, including Branson’s Virgin Galactic, are exploring the niche. The most notable figures include Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Richard Branson’s Comment on the Future of Space Tourism
According to Richard Branson’s interview, there is room for around 20 companies in the space tourism niche. He believes that the more spacecraft these companies built, the more affordable the flights will become. He also adds that all of these will be possible in the next few years.
Right now, the cost of a flight on Virgin Galactic spacecraft is estimated at somewhere in between $250,000 and $500,000.
Space Flights Peculiarities in Top 3 Companies
Today, three major businesses consider offering space tourist flights, and all of them have their differences. Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are aiming for short flights that will take passengers to the edge of space. On the other hand, SpaceX is looking toward longer flights that will last few days instead of few hours. Obviously, such a major difference will be reflected in the cost of a flight. While Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic will probably charge passengers hundreds of thousands of dollars, Elon Musk will charge millions.
Still, even though both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic target short orbital flights, these companies still use different technologies to take passengers to space. Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket takes off vertically from the ground. Virgin Galactic uses a horizontal air-launch, technology. Its SpaceShipTwo is released from the air, and it returns back to Earth pretty much as planes do.
In the meantime, SpaceX has already sent ten astronauts to the ISS. Besides space tourism, Elon Musk’s company plans to focus on government and private space missions.