Virgin Galactic Opens Space Ticket Reservations to General Public

Richard Branson's company is looking for deep-pocketed passengers to carry to the edge of space.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

The edge of space is calling your name if you can afford it.

Virgin Galactic

If you watched Richard Branson's participation in the billionaires-in-space race, thought "I want that to be me!" and have an extra half million US dollars kicking around, then your time has come. Virgin Galactic is opening up spaceflight ticket reservations to the general public starting Wednesday.

"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," said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier in a statement Tuesday.

The total cost of a spaceflight reservation is $450,000 (£330,000, AU$630,000). The initial deposit required to hold a slot on a future spaceplane journey is $150,000 (£110,000, AU$210,000). 

Virgin Galactic's 90-minute spaceflight experience takes off from Spaceport America in New Mexico and promises amenities like luxury accommodations during the several days of training leading up to takeoff. The spaceship reaches the edge of space, rather than an orbital journey like visitors to the International Space Station go through. For Virgin Galactic's guests, it works out to several minutes of out-of-seat weightlessness during the flight.

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic: See the space dream come to life

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Branson tested his own product in July 2021 and declared it "the dawn of a new space age." With Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin ferrying celebrities and others to the edge of space and SpaceX's commercial space missions ramping up, Branson may be right. Space is in reach of more people that ever before... if you have the money.