Virgin Galactic Sells Another Hundred Tickets to the Future Space Tourists16th Nov 2021
Since its maiden space tourism flight last summer, Virgin Galactic has sold another hundred tickets. The company expects to start offering commercial services by the end of 2022. Still, the price for a space ticket will be steeper than initially announced.
Average Space Tourism Ticket Cost So Far
Virgin Galactic went on its first test flight with the company owner, Sir Richard Branson, onboard days ahead of its main competitor Blue Origin‘s first flight. While Virgin was still preparing for its debut flight, a space tourism ticket’s announced cost varied between $200,000 and $250,000. Six hundred early birds did get a chance to book the flight at the announced cost between 2005 and 2014. Now, it looks that by the time space tourism commercial flights become more common, the tickets will cost almost twice as much – $450,000 per seat.
Despite such a steep fare cost, the competitors will likely charge even more than that. Blue Origin has sold its first space tourism ticket at an online auction for $28 million. Regular flights will probably cost less, but no lower than Virgin Galactic tickets as Virgin uses a more cost-effective air-launch technology compared to traditional vertical launches from Blue Origin and SpaceX, which have not yet announced their space flight cost either.
Virgin Galactic Progress & Setbacks
So far, Virgin Galactic has sold around 700 space tickets, but the company is far from enjoying its days in the sun. Since the debut flight last summer, Virgin has experienced a series of setbacks. The company has been briefly grounded by the FAA for deviating from the planned trajectory and had to postpone several commercial missions in October. Still, despite certain delays in the space tourism schedule, Virgin Galactic is working on enhancing its vehicles and getting ready to take people to the edge of space.