The era of space tourism is here. The race to send humans to space for a trip is now on the verge of taking a new turn. Virgin Galactic has said that it sold around 100 tickets for space trips after Richard Branson flew to space. The company has plans to begin commercial service by the end of next year. Virgin Galactic is charging USD 450,000 per seat. This is more than the double amount it collected from around 600 customers between 2005 and 2014. The company said that it has sold 700 tickets in total for space trips.
Virgin Galactic is offering three-way rides on Spaceship Two. The first option is of a single-seat; the second is of multi-seat for couples, and the third one is of a full buyout. The company said that it is working on fleet enhancement. This will pave the way for increasing its vehicles’ durability, reliability, and predictability before it begins commercial services. The company noted that the safety of tourists is paramount. It said that demand for space travel is strong. It added that the seats are being sold at a much greater pace than expected. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson flew to the edge of space in July. He was joined by three employees of the company.
Virgin Galactic uses a reusable SpaceShipTwo spaceflight system. This is different from SpaceX and Blue Origin. The two companies use a rocket system for the space trip. Virgin Galactic on the other hand sends a massive carrier aircraft in the sky. It takes off horizontally to gain a high altitude. It then drops a spaceplane. The rocket-powered spaceplane soars into space after the drop-off. The California headquartered spaceflight company was established in 2004. It wants to cash in on the July trip. The spaceflight had reached a height of 53 miles. The company initially invited applauds for the success of the trip. But later it was revealed that the flight had deviated from its approved path during the return journey. After this, the Federal Aviation Administration had grounded the company. Virgin Galactic was given nod to fly again in September.