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Virgin Galactic will charge you an eye-watering $450,000 to fly to space

Yeahhhh… not exactly the democratizing of space flight that was promised.

virgin galactic vss unity spaceplane underneath its launch carrier plane
Image: Virgin Galactic

If you’ve got your heart set on cruising above the atmosphere like Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic did last month, you’re going to need deep pockets.

Announced during the space tourism firm’s second-quarter earnings report was the price of a ticket once they go back on sale, and it’s an eye-watering, butt-puckering $450,000.

Yes, it’ll cost you nearly half a million dollars to fly (nearly) amongst the stars. That’s a huge increase over the last time tickets were on sale, when they were closer to $200K. Even so, Virgin Galactic already has some 600 paid passengers in the queue. If you can’t collect that kind of scratch in time, there is a raffle running that will let you and a friend go into space, assuming you win.

Last month, CEO Richard Branson and three company employees had a successful flight on SpaceShipTwo, the space plane that Virgin Galactic has designed for space tourism. The company expects to start revenue-generating missions in late September, their 23rd Unity mission.

That one won’t be for tourists though, instead, it will have three members from the Italian Air Force and some research payloads. They’ll be paying more than the tourists as well, with a $600K per ticket price tag.

The other thing? Those high-flying, high-paying space tourists probably won’t qualify to call themselves astronauts. That’s because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amended the rules so they need to both be part of the flight crew and also make contributions to the safety of the flight. Even in space, there’s no such thing as a free ride.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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