"Book me a ticket for Space, please." Yes, this may soon be a reality, thanks to billionaire Richard Branson's successful flight, with five others, to the edge of space and back. The 15-minute flight was enough for the passengers of Unity to see the curvature of the earth and experience weightlessness. Taking adventure tourism to ultimate heights, Virgin Galactic's Branson wants to make space tourism the next big thing. to be scheduled 24
Branson's Virgin Galactic has already received more than 600 reservations, including from Hollywood celebrities, from those aspiring to travel to space, with each ticket costing $250,000. Virgin plans commercial operations from 2022 and intends to take 400 people to space every year.
A spokesman for Virgin Galactic confirmed to Wall Street Journal that Musk had bought a ticket for the space ride. Musk’s SpaceX, which is building moon and Mars ships, is also competing in the market of space tourism.
But it plans to go beyond Branson and its flights they will go into orbit around the Earth. Its first flight is set for September and the ticket will cost well into the millions.
According to a Reuters report, Bezos' Blue Origin is likely to charge at least $200,000 for the ride. There is no official word from the company though. An auction for a seat aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard, a suborbital launch vehicle, fetched $28 billion from an anonymous bidder. This bidder will join Bezos on July 28 for an 11-minute trip to space and back.
With three major players already in the fray for space tourism, the interest in the sector will only grow. A 2020 report by management consultant company McKinsey said that investors had put $9 billion in companies related to space travel or associate companies.
Companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos) and Virgin Galactic are spurring a huge interest in the sector and it is just a matter of time before other tycoons and entrepreneurs will be jostling for space and thereby creating a complete ecosystem.