Space travel company Virgin Galactic said that after reopening ticket sales in August, 100 people have already bought more expensive suborbital tickets. Thus, the company now has about 700 ticket holders for fast tourist flights into space. That’s about 300 less than the 1,000 tickets Virgin Galactic hoped to sell ahead of commercial flights.
However, Virgin Galactic says additional sales this quarter have been better than expected.
“We’re selling tickets ahead of schedule,” said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazer. “The pricing strategy we announced last quarter has been well received.”
The tickets were offered to a group of people who made a refundable $ 1,000 deposit showing an interest in flying with Virgin Galactic. Early next year, the company will expand its ticketing options for people interested in flight information.
Virgin Galactic resumed ticket sales just a month after the company successfully launched billionaire Richard Branson into space in July. It was a hastily planned flight, taking place 9 days before rival Blue Origin’s flight. But in September it became known that Branson’s flight actually deviated from the approved trajectory during the return to Earth. The FAA temporarily suspended Virgin Galactic’s operations while investigating the incident, but eventually allowed the company to fly again in mid-September.
Even before the investigation was over, Virgin Galactic decided to resume ticket sales, claiming that there had been a “surge of consumer interest” following Branson’s flight. The company decided to sell tickets at a price of $ 450,000, significantly higher than the initial price of $ 250,000 announced during the first round of ticket sales several years ago.
The next manned flight was scheduled to take place in September – a flight called Unity 23. But in early September, Galactic announced the porting of Unity 23 after a third-party vendor “pointed out a potential manufacturing defect in a flight control component.” Galactic has decided to suspend its launch and inspect its aircraft. Then, in October, the company announced that it would not resume commercial flights until the end of 2022 due to the comprehensive modernization of its rocket planes.
A source: The verge