The Space Shuttle program may be gone, but there is still Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and perhaps not so surprisingly, NASA is said to be interested in working with the space tourism company.
NASA Experiments on Virgin Galactic Flights
According to Gizmag, Virgin Galactic has signed a contract with the U.S. space agency to provide it with three charter flight on its suborbital SpaceShipTwo for “NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, which is charged with providing reduced-gravity for research experiments while encouraging the emerging commercial space industry.”
Although at this point, no one knows what kinds of experiments NASA might want to carry out, we do know that SpaceShipTwo has a relatively roomy cabin, and as Gizmag points out, each flight has the space for 1,300 pounds of scientific experiments.
Virgin Galactic Now Taking Passenger Reservations
It is not clear yet when Virgin Galactic suborbital flights will begin for the general public, although FareCompare was told, “less than two years” back in April. In the meantime, you can reserve space now, if you go to the website and drop a $20,000 down payment; total cost of your ticket: $200,000, which is not exactly a cheap flight (and one of the reasons why you will not find these fares on FareCompare).
So far, more than 430 adventurers have signed up for Virgin Galactic flights, and no doubt more will do so. If that is too expensive for you, how about a souvenir? The website also offers Virgin Galactic T-shirts for just $40 each.