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Virgin Galactic set to take people on tours of space for $450,000 per person

Virgin Galactic set to take people on tours of space for $450,000 per person

Virgin Galactic is set to launch normal people into space with its commercial flights

Virgin Galactic is set to launch commercial flights and take passengers up on tours of space.

Yep, customers who have dug deep to get a place on board one of Sir Richard Branson's planes will soon be shooting off into the cosmos.

But while those who've paid a between $200,000 and $450,000 for the privilege will get their chance, the first voyage will be a research mission manned by experts.

At some point between today (27 June) and Friday (30 June), six crew members should board the VSS Unity spaceplane at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Galactic 01 will be made up of three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy - Angelo Landolfi, Walter Villadei and Pantaleone Carlucci – who are tasked with carrying out microgravity research.

Virgin Galactic is set to launch commercial tours.
YouTube/Virgin Galactic

They will be joined by three Americans – former NASA astronaut Frederick W. Sturckow, co-pilot Michael Masucci, and safety officer Beth Moses.

Once they've returned, the first fully commercial flight, filled with actual 'normal' people, Galactic 02, will set off in August.

After what promises to be a successful trip, regular space flights will then take off every month. And with around 800 tickets sold to would-be passengers over the past 10 years, Virgin has got a fair few flights to get through.

Speaking about the planned launches, Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said he was incredibly excited about what's to come.

"We are launching the first commercial spaceline for Earth with two dynamic products – our scientific research and private astronaut space missions," he said.

"This next exciting chapter for Virgin Galactic has been driven by innovation, determination and a commitment to delivering an unparalleled and truly transformative customer experience."

Passengers have forked out $450k for their tickets.
YouTube/Virgin Galactic

Speaking previously about the future of commercial space travel, Sir Richard told LADbible that he thought it would be some time until it becomes more accessible to regular folk.

I mean, with tickets costs $450k, that's hardly surprising.

How many years exactly is hard to pin down, but it looks like we're talking double figures rather than something which is going to be happening in the near future.

He said: "I think realistically, it is. I mean, normally, I talk ahead of myself, but I think that before it becomes like commercial airline travel it's going to take a few decades.

“But what I can say is we'll do our best to speed it up. I'm getting I'm getting on and I'd like to see it. We’ll go as quickly as we can."

So unless you're a billionaire or at least multi-millionaire, I wouldn't go getting your hopes up.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Virgin Galactic / Virgin Galactic

Topics: Science, Space, Travel, US News