Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic reopens ticket sales for spaceflight

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Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it is re-opening ticket sales for upcoming space travel to the general public from Feb. 16, driving its shares more than 10% higher in premarket trading. The tickets are priced at $450,000 each, including an initial deposit of $150,000. “We plan to have our first 1,000 customers on board at the start of commercial service later this year,” Virgin Galactic Chief Executive Officer Michael Colglazier said in a statement.

Shares of Virgin Galactic have fallen 66% since October, when the company delayed its commercial space travel service to the fourth quarter of 2022. The spaceflight reservations include access to the Future Astronaut community, which will provide members access to events, trips and space-readiness activities before their trip. A handful of companies including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are striving to make space tourism a reality, and some have already launched civilian missions.

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