Space tourism is something I thought we would already see as a common thing by now. Growing up in the ’80s, we were promised a whole bunch of stuff that has only slowly trickled into reality. Hoverboards? Still waiting on consumer models. Time travel? Not that we know of…
Space travel for the regular Jane or Joe? We’re finally there. Almost, according to a story at PCMag.
In a huge step forward for Virgin Galactic’s plan to take customers into space, the FCC has bestowed the company with a license to do just that.
Full Commercial Launch license ✅ Our recent #Unity21 spaceflight performed well against all flight objectives and marks the first time the FAA has licensed a spaceline to fly customers. Next up in our test program – a fully crewed spaceflight this Summer https://t.co/y0P69gofbK pic.twitter.com/fAUWxp8YNy
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) June 25, 2021
Virgin Galactic is treating this as a major win, which it is.
The adjustment to Virgin Galactic’s operator’s license, which the Company has held since 2016, marks the first time the FAA has licensed a spaceline to fly customers. It is further validation of the Company’s methodical testing program, which has met the verification and validation criteria required by the FAA.
Will it last, though? During the Summer, VG will start a fully-crewed test flight. The ship being used has only room for four customers. With the cost of rocket fuel, crew, prep, and ground staff don’t expect these flights to be affordable. It will certainly appeal to the elites, but will the average person out there ever hope to afford a short jaunt into space?
I checked over at the Market Realist, where we found the price of one seat.
Over 600 people have already reserved their seats on future Virgin Galactic flights, with a reported initial price tag of $250,000 to secure a spot. However, that price might increase with the next round of flight reservations.
Phew. A quarter of a million dollars. That’s the price of my house. That price may even go up! I guess we’ll find out next year if space travel becomes the next big thing in tourism or just another niche thing for the wealthy.
What are your thoughts on Virgin Galactic? Let us know in the comments.
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