In context: Virgin Galactic has reopened ticket sales for the opportunity to fly aboard one of its craft to the edge of space. Tickets will be out of reach for many as pricing starts at nearly half a million dollars. With any luck, costs will come down over time, opening space travel up to more individuals.
Virgin Galactic as part of its second quarter 2021 financial report said private astronauts will have three packages to choose from: a single seat, a multi-seat option in which you can bring a friend or family member along and a full-flight buy out. Pricing starts at $450,000 per seat, and sales will initially be reserved for "early hand-raisers," with Virgin Galactic prioritizing the spacefarer community.
The company further noted that the next rocket-powered spaceflight will take place in late September from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson participated in the company's most recent spaceflight on July 11. Nine days later, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hitched a ride to space via his spaceflight company, Blue Origin.
Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said during the company's earnings call that they will take a break after the September flight in order to perform upgrades on VMS Eve, the jet-powered craft used during launches. Once complete, Virgin Galactic will conduct one final test flight before commercial missions resume with Unity 25 in the third quarter of 2022.
Virgin Galactic shares are up more than six percent on the news, trading at $33.58 as of this writing.