Virgin Galactic Begins Selling 'Transformational' Tickets to Space for $450,000

The company's suborbital flights last a minimum of 90 minutes and reach 2,600 mph after taking off from New Mexico

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic. Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty

If you want to travel to space and have nearly half a million dollars to spare, now is your chance.

Virgin Galactic on Tuesday announced that sales for the spaceflight company's upcoming voyages will open on Wednesday.

The suborbital flights last a minimum of 90 minutes and reach 2,600 mph while transporting four passengers to the edge of space for incredible views, according to the program's website.

"Spaceflight reservations are a total price of USD $450,000," a spokesperson tells PEOPLE. "Following an initial deposit of USD $150,000, customers will make their final payment before their flight."

Virgin Galactic — the brainchild of British billionaire Sir Richard Branson — promises that the tickets come with perks beyond standard training.

"In purchasing a spaceflight reservation, people will also secure membership in Virgin Galactic's unique community of Future Astronauts, where they can enjoy access to money-can't-buy experiences, events, trips and space-readiness activities while they await their spaceflight," the company said in a press release.

"At Virgin Galactic, we believe that space is transformational," added Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier. "We plan to have our first 1,000 customers on board at the start of commercial service later this year, providing an incredibly strong foundation as we begin regular operations and scale our fleet."

As Virgin Galactic invites the general public aboard, Branson is realizing a vision he's had since launching the company in 2004. The 71-year-old showed his confidence in the program when he took part in its first fully crewed mission, dubbed "Unity 22," in July. Alongside five other crew members, Branson took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico's desert and returned about an hour later.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

"I was surprised how relaxed I was, in a really good frame of mind, it was just great," Branson told PEOPLE after his triumph. "We'd been trained so well, I knew exactly what to expect and when, and I was fierce and healthy."

"I can't remember what it is — a minute and a half, two minutes — that you're being pressed to your seat [after Unity fired its rocket], but it feels like an eternity, which is great," he continued. "When we reached apogee… [we experienced] the complete silence, the complete opposite of the roar of the rocket as you're roaring up there. And then, the Earth is turning below you."

Related Articles