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Got some extra cash? $450,000 will buy you a trip to space with Virgin Galactic and sales open today, February 16, 2022. Those whose lifetime dream is to go into space can now purchase an initial spaceflight reservation and secure membership in the unique community of Future Astronauts, a major step in commercialization of space travel. 

The private space race has been going two decades. Competitors Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos were the first to see Earth from a self-funded spacecraft. A third competitor, Elon Musk, started SpaceX in 2002, the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). Last year, NASA astronauts traveled to the ISS aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.

All three space venturers plan to fly paying customers into space, but Virgin Galactic is now the first to take reservations. Utilizing a runway take-off, the 90-minute spaceflight will include a signature air launch and Mach-3 rocket ride to over 300,000 feet above Earth.

Astronaut looking to Earth from Space

Looking to Earth from Space (Virgin Galactic)

Using a proprietary feathering technology, the Virgin spaceship will gracefully flip while astronauts enjoy several minutes of out-of-seat weightlessness and breathtaking views of Earth from 17 windows. Upon return, the astronauts receive their astronaut wings.

Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight has been designed to be a life-changing experience, starting with membership to the Future Astronaut community. Members enjoy access to money-can’t-buy experiences, events, trips and space-readiness activities with a unique group of like-minded individuals awaiting their spaceflight.

Astronaut in space caift

No gravity for this astronaut (Virgin Galactic)

Over several days of spaceflight preparedness activities leading into the flight, the astronauts stay at luxury accommodations and enjoy bespoke itineraries and world-class amenities. Those flying to space with Virgin Galactic receive:

The interior of Virgin Galactic Spaceship Cabin

Virgin Galactic Spaceship Cabin Interior (Virgin Galactic)

  • Membership in Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronaut community.
  • Access to all events and money-can’t-buy experiences, including exclusive weeks ‘at home’ with Virgin Galactic Astronaut 001, Sir Richard Branson.
  • Membership extends from reservation to flight with just one access fee.
  • Flight readiness experiences, consisting of multi-day High-G centrifuge training and a parabolic flight for weightlessness familiarization.
  • A sub-orbital spaceflight onboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship, runway take-off and landing, air-launched spaceship, a Mach 3 rocket ride, out-of-seat weightlessness, and spectacular views of Earth from space.
  • Several days of personalized flight training and preparation immediately before the flight from Spaceport America, New Mexico
  • All-inclusive luxury hospitality for astronaut and up to three guests during the training and preparation period before flight.
  • A tailored itinerary of experiences for guests (while the astronaut trains), including flight day attendance at Spaceport and post-flight celebrations.
  • Takeaways include astronaut wings, an Association of Space Explorers pin, video and photographic content from training and flight, Virgin Galactic apparel and a bespoke spacesuit.

The total ticket price is $450,000 with an initial deposit of $150,000, largely refundable, except for a $25,000 Future Astronaut Community Access fee. The company’s first Virgin Galactic space flights are planned for the fourth quarter of 2022 with over 700 Future Astronauts awaiting space flights. Each new ticket purchaser flies on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.

Wide shot of a Virgin spaceship

A Virgin spaceship o the ground (Virgin Galactic)

So if a trip to outer space is on your wish list, now is the time to purchase a reservation.

This article was written by Margie Goldsmith from Forbes and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.