The age of space tourism is almost here. Virgin Galactic is one of the companies moving forward with this idea, and it will be the first to go public.
Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is contending with two other major players in the space, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX, but it's clearly in the lead. According to CNBC, Virgin Galactic will fly its first customer-astronauts within a year, and the company going public makes this a more believable goal. Hundreds of tickets have been sold, at a cool $250,000 a pop, for the 90-minute flights already.
Hello, Earth 🌎. Footage from the boom of SpaceShipTwo pic.twitter.com/i6jdsjrRRB— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) February 22, 2019
Things are getting more real. The VSS Unity, the company's passenger spaceplane, went up to space successfully for the first time in December, then again for the second time in February. Now, Virgin Galactic will become the first publicly traded space tourism company. Why does this matter? The roughly $800 million investment from a public shell company called Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp will allow to company to fund its ships until it reaches profitability, which is projected to happen in August 2021.
Will you be going up to space anytime soon? Maybe! According to Branson himself, "Ten years from now we should see quite a dramatic decrease in our prices", so perhaps you'll be able to afford it! Plus, space tourism could lead the way for long-haul Earth travel "serviced by space" according to a UBS analyst report, as noted by CNBC.
What do you think about space tourism? If you had the money, would you buy a ticket?
Source: The Verge