Here's how many people paid $450,000 for Virgin Galactic's edge-of-space flight

midian182

Posts: 8,324   +103
Staff member
In brief: Virgin Galactic has revealed that 100 people have bought tickets for its suborbital spaceplane since the price jumped to $450,000 in the summer. That takes the total number of passenger reservations for its space tourism trips to 700—300 fewer than its target of 1,000 sales.

The reservation figures were listed in Virgin Galactic’s third-quarter earnings report (via The Verge) released yesterday. It shows that 600 people paid $250,000 for a ticket to the edge of space before they went back on sale with the price increase during the summer.

Another 100 people have purchased tickets at that $450,000 price, which is more than the company expected in the timeframe. “We’re selling tickets ahead of the pace we planned,” said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier. “The pricing strategy we announced last quarter has been well received.”

The tickets were offered to anyone who had paid a $1,000 deposit; they will be available more generally to those who inquired about Virgin space flights early next year.

A month before the company restarted selling tickets, Virgin founder Richard Branson beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos in the race to leave Earth by taking part in the Unity 22 mission that evaluated the Virgin Galactic Astronaut Experience. It prompted Bezos’ firm to throw some shade by reminding people that Virgin’s craft isn’t actually reaching space.

Branson's trip wasn't totally smooth: it deviated from its flight path while returning to Earth, leading to the FAA temporarily grounding the company.

Virgin Galactic plans to launch passengers 55 miles off Earth near the end of 2022. Flights were initially scheduled for the middle of next year, but Virgin said it needs more time for a planned vehicle enhancement and modification program involving the VSS Unity spaceship and VMS Eve carrier mothership.

Virgin notes that it generated $2.6 million in revenue during Q3, though total losses reached $48 million. That’s still better than the $94 million loss it suffered in Q2.

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VitalyT

Posts: 6,407   +7,220
One thing that's on my mind about all this super-expensive space tourism... When a plane crashes - it is a problem for the manufacturer, but the company usually survives. But when one of these crashes, killing a bunch of billionaires, it'll be 100% the end for the company, and a long-term halt for any future space tourism. They are quite literally playing with fire here. Richard Branson may spend the rest of his life going from one courtroom to the next, trying to prove his innocence.

19 NASA astronauts have died in space over the years. These things happen. But those dedicated their lives to space exploration, not some rich space joyriders.
 
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Yenega

Posts: 302   +206
One thing that's on my mind about all this super-expensive space tourism... When a plane crashes - it is a problem for the manufacturer, but the company usually survives. But when one of these crashes, killing a bunch of billionaires, it'll be 100% the end for the company, and a long-term halt for any future space tourism. They are quite literally playing with fire here. Richard Branson may spend the rest of his life going from one courtroom to the next, trying to prove his innocence.

19 NASA astronauts have died in space over the years. These things happen. But those dedicated their lives to space exploration, not some rich space joyriders.

Billionaires often dies in plane and helicopter crashes too. I think they test and retest everything, hence the price here.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,096   +3,987
TechSpot Elite
Absolutely insane. I'd rather go to migflug and get to fly a MiG-29 Fulcrum to the edge of space (with me at the controls) for a small fraction of that. I'd even get to play around with the fighter learning tricks like barrel rolls, tail-slides and Immelmann turns:
Fly a MiG-29 to the edge of space: €17500 (~$20,000) for a 50 min flight
Or if I want to experience weightlessness, they have a specialised flight for that too:
Zero Gravity Jet Flight in the USA: from $4000
I think I'd much rather be learning aerobatic fighter manoeuvres at the edge of space from a professional air force pilot in one of the most agile planes in existence (MiG-29) than just sit there and look out the window for more than 20x that amount. Hell, I could even count the hour in the MiG-29 as a twin-turbine IFR training hour! :laughing:
 
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umbala

Posts: 786   +1,550
Rich people always find new ways to waste huge amounts of money on ridiculous ideas. They're always looking down on us poor people anyway, now they can do it literally from space. These are the same people who want to colonize Mars, because it's easier to just go to a new planet and ruin it rather than saving the one you got.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,166   +8,309
I'd even get to play around with the fighter learning tricks like barrel rolls, tail-slides and Immelmann turns:

Re: Tailslide Just make sure you have the nose pointed slightly "down", when you chop the power, or you might have to learn that Immelman much sooner than expected.

Pointers, the ailerons won't do squat when you're stopped in mid air, and the rudders will do way to much going backwards.

Then there's always the possibility of an "unstart". Just what is the glide ratio of a Fulcrum anyway?

Oh, before I forget, always stay at least three mistakes high. (y) (Y)

 
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Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
I’d love to be able to go into space! I wonder if I can get onboard by getting a job? I know NASA hire divers to train their astronauts for weightlessness, maybe I should apply lol.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
Rich people always find new ways to waste huge amounts of money on ridiculous ideas. They're always looking down on us poor people anyway, now they can do it literally from space. These are the same people who want to colonize Mars, because it's easier to just go to a new planet and ruin it rather than saving the one you got.
Depends which way you consider “up”. I mean in Australia all the maps are upside down so if you’re orbiting above the Australian continent then they think they’d be looking down but we’d think they are looking up at us.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,166   +8,309
Here's the thing, you could probably find the hottest escort in town for about $4,500.00 an hour.

Whereas, a 10 minute fight into (so called) "outer space, will cost you about $450.000.00.

Ya gotta ask yourself, do I want to piss away a half million dollars for a 10 minute ride in outer space, or 1/100 of that for a more pleasurable ride in "inner space".
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
Here's the thing, you could probably find the hottest escort in town for about $4,500.00 an hour.

Whereas, a 10 minute fight into (so called) "outer space, will cost you about $450.000.00.

Ya gotta ask yourself, do I want to piss away a half million dollars for a 10 minute ride in outer space, or 1/100 of that for a more pleasurable ride in "inner space".
$4500 an hour? I’m in the wrong job!

If I were a hot escort I could go into space after just 100 hours work!
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,096   +3,987
TechSpot Elite
Re: Tailslide Just make sure you have the nose pointed slightly "down", when you chop the power, or you might have to learn that Immelman much sooner than expected.

Pointers, the ailerons won't do squat when you're stopped in mid air, and the rudders will do way to much going backwards.

Then there's always the possibility of an "unstart". Just what is the glide ratio of a Fulcrum anyway?

Oh, before I forget, always stay at least three mistakes high. (y) (Y)

Oh I know what they are. I actually do fly and I've been a military aviation enthusiast for over 30 years. My name, "Avro Arrow" comes from a beautiful Canadian Interceptor that was the most advanced plane in the world (before PM Diefenbaker cancelled it):
0926_BI_AVRO_ARROW_1.BI_80373688.jpg

I wouldn't be alone anyway, I'd be in a trainer model with a real Russian pilot. I've known a couple of people who have done this and they both said that during the initial briefing, the pilot was very friendly and re-assuring. One of them told me that his exact words to them were "Don't worry about a thing. There's nothing that you can do that I can't get us out of. And if we lose a wing, we can always eject!" and then he laughed.

One thing that I've always known is that despite what the western propaganda says, Russian pilots are no joke and neither are their planes. It's the countries that they sell them to who have substandard pilots and even worse maintenance procedures. I would feel completely at ease in a Russian Air Force MiG-29 with a Russian Air Force pilot. I'm also experienced enough myself not to do anything that would be considered "Weapons-Grade Stupid". :laughing:
 
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Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,096   +3,987
TechSpot Elite
Here's the thing, you could probably find the hottest escort in town for about $4,500.00 an hour.

Whereas, a 10 minute fight into (so called) "outer space, will cost you about $450.000.00.

Ya gotta ask yourself, do I want to piss away a half million dollars for a 10 minute ride in outer space, or 1/100 of that for a more pleasurable ride in "inner space".
You also have to ask yourself... "Which of the two is more risky?" :laughing:
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,166   +8,309
, Russian pilots are no joke and neither are their planes. It's the countries that they sell them to who have substandard pilots and even worse maintenance procedures.
I've often wondered if the Russians sell their fighters to 3rd world countries, so that we can shoot them down, so they can then sell them more