- Space travel will soon be available to civilians, not just career astronauts.
- Private space tourism companies include Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
- Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson said he hopes the cost of space travel will fall to around $50,000.
Americans have been living in the Space Age for nearly 60 years, but the lure and mystery of space and traveling through it remains as strong as ever. And on Oct. 9, 2018, Virgin empire founder and CEO Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic would be in space for test flights in a matter of just weeks. The announcement came within days of SpaceX’s most recent Falcon 9 launch and less than a month after it was revealed that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be SpaceX’s first commercial passenger.
Click to read more about how much money private and public companies have poured into space.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Ticket Cost: $50,000 Within a Decade
Virgin Galactic is the brainchild of Richard Branson. Following April’s successful test launch, Branson tweeted, “Space feels tantalisingly close now.”
Space plane VSS Unity brings tourists on a 2.5-hour experience, including about five minutes of weightlessness and the view of the Earth’s curvature for a rumored price tag of $250,000. In his October announcement, Branson said he would like to see the price fall to $40,000 or $50,000 over the next decade, CNBC reported.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Ticket Cost: $300,000
If you’re a space travel purist and want to be transported via rocket, Jeff Bezos, the man responsible for bringing the world Amazon, might be able to help. Bezos is the founder of Blue Origin, a private space company in the development stage of bringing six individuals aboard a rocket 60 feet tall and launching them beyond the Karman line. The capsule, aptly named New Shepard, will provide space travelers with a comfortable ride and ample windows to stare out into the dark void.
Based on successful unmanned test launches in April, a company spokesperson said a passenger maiden voyage could be this year. Reuters reported in July that Blue Origin would charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space.
Bezos, Branson, Musk and Other: Billionaires With Big, Bold Ideas
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Ticket Cost: $500,000
SpaceX, like its founder and CEO Elon Musk, has galaxy-sized dreams. A space voyage with Musk’s company won’t end at the Karman line, 62 miles into space — his goal is to bring civilians to the moon.
SpaceX received a “significant deposit” from two passengers for a trip flight around the moon and back to Earth last year. Musk is known for his optimistic timelines, so skeptics are critical of his claim to colonize Mars, with a $500,000 price tag, starting in 2025.
Click to read about the cost to fund Elon Musk’s genius ideas.
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Ruth Sarreal contributed to the reporting for this article.