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While space travel for civilians is fast approaching, it’s not going to be affordable for most. Reuters reports that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans on charging $200,000 to $300,000 for rides to outerspace on his Blue Origin rocket.
Two Blue Origin employees who have “first-hand knowledge of the pricing plan” spoke to Reuters, telling the publication that tickets would be priced at a minimum of $200,000 and could go as high as $300,000.
If these prices are accurate, they’ll be on par with Virgin Galactic’s prices, which now starts at $250,000 for a suborbital ride around Earth.
Flights will be aboard the New Shepard rocket system, which can sit six people and includes the “largest windows in space.” It will autonomously fly passengers into outerspace, shooting them 62 miles above the earth’s surface — allowing them to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and to catch a view that only a handful of humans have seen in person. Blue Origin says the windows measure 2.4 feet wide by 3.6 feet tall, nearly three times the size of a Boeing 747’s windows.
Executives at Blue Origin told attendees at a business conference last month that they plan on starting manned test flights soon and hope to begin selling tickets in 2019. The company has already completed eight successful test flights and plans on launching a rocket for the first time into space in the next few weeks.
Even with the high cost, it’s likely that the missions will still lose money. Teal Group aerospace analyst Marco Caceres estimates that it will cost around $10 million per launch, meaning even at the highest pricepoint of $300,000, six passengers would only bring in $1.8 million.
Still, companies like Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX plan on reducing the cost of space travel. In 2011, NASA said it cost $450 million to launch the Space Shuttle. Musk claims with his reusable Falcon 9 rocket, he’ll make launches 100 times cheaper.
Featured image by Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images.
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