Now that Virgin Galactic has a working spaceflight system, it needs to sell rides. The company has announced that it's opening ticket sales to the general public starting on February 16th, letting you become an astronaut if you're willing to pay $450,000 and put down a $150,000 deposit. To mark the launch of public sales, Virgin Galactic revealed new consumer branding (above).
"We plan to have our first 1,000 customers on board at the start of commercial service later this year, providing an incredibly strong foundation as we begin regular operations and scale our fleet," said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier in a statement.
For that $450K, you'll get a 90-minute ride to the edge of space including the "signature air launch and Mach-3 boost to space," the company said. Passengers will enjoy several minutes of weightlessness and spectacular views of Earth from the 17 windows, as it showed in a new video (below). The ticket also includes several days of astronaut training, a fitted Under Armour spacesuit, and membership in the Future Astronaut community. All flights launch from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
The sub-orbital spaceflights definitely aren't cheap, but are far less than the $55 million you'll pay for an orbital 10-day SpaceX flight. Virgin Galactic's main competitor is Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, though that company has yet to decide on a final price for its suborbital tickets. Virgin Galactic was originally set to launch public and commercial research flights last year, but they were delayed until 2022.