Virgin Galactic has announced that ticket sales for the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane have been reopened. Ticket price per seat, however, has increased from its previous price.
The space tourism company made the announcement in its second-quarter earnings release. The announcement comes after the successful Unity 22 mission that counted Virgin Galactic owner Richard Branson as one of its passengers.
Virgin Galactic Reopens Ticket Sales
Virgin Galactic has announced the reopening of ticket sales for the SpaceShipTwo's next flight, which will be the space tourism company's first revenue-generating flight in its history. How much does one have to pay to secure a seat?
According to The Verge, those interested to secure a seat aboard the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane should be willing to shell out $450,000 per seat. The price was previously set at $200,000.
Per the report, Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said, "Leveraging the surge in consumer interest following the Unity 22 flight, we are excited to announce the reopening of sales effective today, beginning with our Spacefarer community."
Virgin Galactic's First Revenue-Generating Flight
The space tourism company is planning for their first revenue-generating flight to take place in September.
According to The Verge, the mission, which will be called Unity 23, "will carry research payloads and three members from the Italian Air Force."
Virgin Galactic has said that it has a backlog of 600 ticket holders waiting to get on their spaceflights.
Why Ticket Sales Were Stopped
Ticket sales have been put on hold ever since Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight in 2014. The accident resulted in the death of one pilot and the injury of another.
Virgin Galactic, at that time, said that the spaceplane "experienced an in-flight anomaly" in a brief statement posted on Twitter.
Less than a year after the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the results of the investigation. The investigation concluded that human error and the lack of protection against said error caused the SpaceShipTwo's crash. The latter was blamed on the manufacturer of the spaceplane, Scaled Composites.
The Success of Unity 22
Virgin Galactic has come a long way since that fatal accident. The space company successfully launched its first fully crewed spaceflight called Unity 22 last July 11. Richard Branson was one of those aboard the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane, along with three other passengers and two pilots at the helm.
Unity 22 mission's main goal was to serve as a test flight for future passenger flights that Virgin Galactic is planning to schedule.
The spacecraft and its carrier plane, VMS EVE, took off from Spaceport America, which is located in New Mexico.
The Unity 22 mission allowed Richard Branson and his fellow passengers to enjoy a couple of minutes of weightlessness as they were launched around 53 miles high.
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Written by Isabella James