- Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson is expected to fly to the edge of space on Sunday.
- Roughly 600 people – including celebrities – have booked $250,000 worth of tickets for future flights.
- Another 1,000 have accumulated when ticket sales resume after Branson’s flight.
- See more stories on Businesshala’s business page.
While Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos claim they are not in the running to become the first billionaires in space, a long list of wealthy people aim to join the early A-listers on their journey to the edge of infinity.
According to company filings, nearly 600 people from 58 countries have booked tickets worth up to $250,000 to be in the first wave of space tourists. The list is believed to include celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Russell Brand, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.
The number of actual reservations has remained relatively stable since 2014 when SpaceShipTwo crashed in the Mojave Desert, injuring the pilot and killing the co-pilot. some ticket holders are wait more than 15 years According to Reuters, to take your flights.
In February of last year, the company launched a campaign that pulled in another 1,000 signups — this time for a refundable $1,000 deposit for the price of a full ticket when sales resumed after Branson’s flight on Sunday.
Virgin Galactic estimates the deposit to be valued at $80 million, and former CEO George Whitesides told Businesshala that he expects space tourism to eventually pull in $10 to $15 billion per year.
The company says it aims to launch 400 flights per year, carrying six passengers and two pilots, departing and landing from Spaceport America home base in New Mexico.
Lest you just need a few minutes of zero-gravity that cost a quarter-million dollar ticket a bit too much, the spaceport offers more than your usual departure lounge facilities. In “Gateway to Space,” opening in 2019, future astronauts will be able to see their families rub elbows with pilots and rocket engineers around an Italian marble “barista island.”
In addition, ticket purchases include custom-tailored flight suits from Under Armor featuring a name badge and national flag, as well as a two-day flight training program with classroom instruction and centrifuge simulation.
There are also mountain biking and hot air balloon rides out in New Mexico to round out the adventure, because, why not?