Virgin Galactic Aims to Sell 50,000 Space Tourism Seats in First 10 Years

Flight 3 for WhiteKnight 2

There’s some interesting information coming out of a Virgin Galactic press conference in Australia today where it was announced that Brisbane fashion shop owner Glenys Ambe would be the first Australian to fly into space aboard SpaceShipTwo. iTNews reports that:

  • 11 Australians have put down deposits for suborbital flights out of roughly 300 people worldwide;
  • Virgin wants to sell at least 200 tickets before the first commercial flights in 2011 – and 50,000 tickets in the first ten years of operation;
  • It could take 15 years to drop the price of flights to equal that of a new car;
  • Six passengers and two pilots will experience four minutes of weightlessness during the two-hour flights;
  • The flights are so easy that even a caveman pilots of local regional carriers like Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue can be trained to fly them.

Read the full story.

  • Nickolai_the_Russian_Guy

    “Wincer said Virgin will pilot some 30 flights into space “before we let our customers anywhere near the ship”.”

    Earlier they said they would fly more test flights than NASA has flown missions. I thought something was up with their numbers.

    Also, the beginning of the article suggests the ticket price was $280,000, yet later on it indicates that the price is actually $200,000. What gives?

  • Depends upon how one defines flights. A likely test flight program will include:

    Captive flights
    Unpowered drop tests
    Powered flights (non-suborbital)
    Powered flights (suborbital)

    That could eventually exceed all of NASA’s human spaceflights. It would be a lot testing in 18 months. I don’t know if they’re also counting the WK2 flights that are now being flown without SS2.

    SpaceShipOne’s 17-flight test flight program was:

    6 captive flights
    5 unpowered glides
    3 powered flights (not suborbital)
    3 powered flights (suborbital)

    I’m guessing the figures are probably in Australian dollars.