At a cost of $200,000 a seat, a ticket on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic may not seem cheap. But consider two things.
First, look how much space travel used to cost, according to Space Florida:
Only about 500 people have traveled to space, and few have traveled to space commercially . The vast majority were professional astronauts and cosmonauts on government missions . A small number of industrial researchers,a Japanese journalist, and a chemist from the United Kingdom (who won a contest to fly to Mir in 1991) have flown on a paid basis on U.S. (NASA) or Russian government flights . The last decade has seen the first leisure travellers to space . Since 2001, seven individuals have purchased eight orbital flights (one passenger flew twice) for approximately $20 to $35 million per flight.
The price has fallen by over 99 per cent in a decade.
Second, look how much cheaper it will get in the future, at least according to Branson:
“I think in your lifetime, space travel could be nearly as commonplace as, say, travelling to another continent is,” Richard Branson told Business Insider’s Aly Weisman. “I’m sure that your children will definitely be able to think: I’d love to become an astronaut, maybe I’ll go up next weekend. That will enable us to then push space travel forward.”
Here’s a look at your options for the next decade, according to Space Florida:
Also see how suborbital flight compares to terrestrial competition, according to another chart from Space Florida. Orbital flight is still far from competitive, costing around $50 million for a multi-day stay aboard the International Space Station:
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