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Cost of a Seat on Virgin Galactic Skyrockets

Cost of a Seat on Virgin Galactic Skyrockets

Following Richard Branson’s successful and much-publicised recent trip into the outer atmosphere, seats on his Virgin Galactic Unity spacecraft have nearly doubled in price.

Fancy a trip to space? It’ll cost you $450,000 (€383,000) for a single seat, just one of three options available since tickets went back on sale last week.

You can also buy several seats together or book the whole flight on the eight-seater spacecraft – surely the ultimate group trip.

Virgin Galactic says that around 600 people have already reserved a seat, but the success of Branson’s 11 July ride will enhance interest considerably, according to the company’s spokesperson.

What will $450,000 buy you?

Passengers will travel to an altitude of around 50,000 feet (15,000m) attached to the wing of the VMS Eve carrier plane.

The spacecraft will then detach and blast off into suborbital space, where you will feel around three to four minutes of weightlessness as well as see all of planet earth framed against the blackness of space (make sure to bring your camera).

The shuttle will then return to Earth for a runway landing; the whole trip takes about an hour.

If you’ve got a spare half a million lying around (and really, who doesn’t?), you can reserve your spot here.

There’s Room in Space for Two

Virgin Galactic isn’t the only operator looking to run tourist flights into space.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, hitched a ride aboard his New Shepard rocket ship on 20 July along with his brother and an 18-year-old who says he’s never bought anything from Amazon.

Bezos’ Blue Origin company will also be launching space rides for the public, but has not announced how much a seat will cost.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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