© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson wears his astronaut’s wings at a news conference, after flying with a crew in Virgin Galactic’s passenger rocket plane VSS Unity to the edge of space at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New
(Reuters) – Spaceship company Virgin Galactic said it will open ticket sales on Thursday for space flights starting at $450,000 a seat, weeks after billionaire founder Richard Branson’s high-profile trip to the edge of space. Branson soared more than 50 miles above the New Mexico desert aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket plane on July 11 and safely returned in the vehicle’s first fully crewed test flight to space, a symbolic milestone for a venture he started 17 years ago.
Shares of the company rose 5% in extended trading on Thursday.
In June, Virgin Galactic received approval from the U.S. aviation safety regulator to fly people to space.
The company said it will have three consumer offerings – a single seat, a multi-seat package and a full-flight buy out.
Sales will initially open to the company’s significant list of “early hand-raisers”, it said.
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