Who hasn’t dreamt of what it would be like to travel through space like an astronaut? Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group wants to make your dreams a reality with their newest brand, Virgin Galactic, planned to become the world’s first commercial spaceline. The travel sector of the Virgin Group includes the airlines Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin America, and Virgin Australia and now their spaceline Virgin Galactic. The new fleet of spaceships are being developed in Mojave, California by the Spaceship Company, a new aerospace company dually founded by the Virgin Group and the California based company, Scaled Composites. The commercial spaceships will be named SpaceShipTwo after the earlier model called, you’ve guessed it, SpaceShipOne. The SpaceShipTwo’s will be built to hold 6 customers and will allow the passengers to float around the cabin, experiencing zero-gravity while taking in the spectacular views of space.
Booking officially started in 2005 and as the official website states, there are very few seats remaining for the first launch. However, as expected, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes with a heavy price tag, $200,000 (about £125,000). Currently there are three booking options to choose from:
- Pioneer Astronaut – the earliest available seat
Price – $200,000, full payment up front
Benefit – you can secure a seat to be among the first 500 people to fly
- Voyager Astronaut – join the waiting list for a seat
Price – a deposit of $20,000 (about £12,500)
Benefit – Even if prices go up in the future you will be guaranteed the $200k original price
- Spaceship Charter
Price – $1 million (about £625,000)
Benefit – A private spaceflight with the Pioneer status for you and up to 5 friends
So what do you think, will commercial space travel be the next big thing?