Virgin Galactic has announced Tuesday that it will begin selling tickets this week for joyrides to the edge of space. The cost: a whopping $450,000. per individual, with an initial deposit of $150,000 USD.
Following several days of activities to prepare future astronauts, the space flights take off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The entire journey is 90-minutes, including a signature air launch and Mach-3 boost to space. Astronauts will have the opportunity to experience several minutes of out-of-seat weightlessness as the spaceship flips, all the while enjoying once-in-a-lifetime views of planet Earth.
At Virgin Galactic, we believe that space is transformational. We plan to have our first 1,000 customers on board at the start of commercial service later this year, providing an incredibly strong foundation as we begin regular operations and scale our fleet.
Michael Colglazier, CEO Virgin Galactic
Space tourists will fly aboard the company’s rocket-powered vehicle, known as SpaceShipTwo Unity. The craft is designed to take off on a conventional runway while attached to the underbelly of a carrier ship. The vehicles fly to 50,000 feet, where Unity is released and its engine ignites to power it to the edge of space.
Virgin Galactic’s joyrides take off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Reservations include several days of training and spaceflight preparedness programs, according to the company.
Spaceflight reservations additionally provide access to Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronaut membership community, which hosts events, trips and space-readiness programs for travelers awaiting their flights.
For those who are interested in a mini vacation to outer space, you can start the application process on Virgin Galactic’s website.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has revealed an inside look at the interior of its SpaceshipTwo model, also known as VSS Unity. The craft has been designed in collaboration with London-based agency Seymourpowell, and is intended to create ‘a level of intimacy required for personal discovery and transformation’ to each of the six astronauts on the flight.
This cabin has been designed specifically to allow thousands of people like you and me to achieve the dream of spaceflight safely – and that is incredibly exciting.
One stand-out feature of the cabin is seats, which feature a 3D knit designed by Under Armour and a pilot-controlled recline mechanism to help passengers manage G-forces. This reclining function also creates an ‘unrestricted float zone’ so that astronaut’s can enjoy weightlessness in zero gravity.
Elsewhere, multi-color LED lights surround the ‘Halo’ windows, while all lighting will switch off as the Earth comes into view, while 16 cabin cameras will create high-definition images to be used for Instagram posts and personal movies. Additionally, a large circular mirror sits at the rear of the aircraft, allowing passengers to view themselves as they experience weightlessness.
Speaking about the design, Richard Branson explained that, “This cabin has been designed specifically to allow thousands of people like you and me to achieve the dream of spaceflight safely – and that is incredibly exciting”. The Virgin Galactic CEO, Michael Colglazier, added that the cabin “will both facilitate and elevate a uniquely profound and transformational journey for the thousands who will fly”.
Join a virtual walkthrough of SpaceShipTwo Unity’s cabin, curated by their design team. Want to fly to space with them? Join their community of Spacefarers to take One Small Step towards reserving your seat on their flights.
Take a look at the SpaceshipTwo cabin in the pictures above, while the design can also be experienced through an AR-enabled mobile app. Come into the beautiful world of Virgin Galactic.