As a kid, you probably looked up at the stars and dreamt of getting to go to space one day. But unless you are an astronaut reading this, the idea of actually getting to ride a rocketship out of orbit likely always felt more like a fantasy than a real possibility. That was before, of course, the billionaires stepped in to create a new kind of space race. And Virgin Galactic owner and billionaire Richard Branson have just changed the game of the space race again.
Over the weekend, Branson may have taken the first giant leap towards making space travel a reality for everyone on Sunday as he flew into space on a test flight of the company’s spaceplane.
Virgin Galactic released a video of the space flight, showing Branson and his five crewmates enjoying some leisure time while floating around above the earth. After about three minutes of weightlessness, the spaceplane then headed back down to earth and landed successfully in Virgin’s New Mexico launch site.
“My mission statement, which I wrote inside my spacesuit, is to turn the dream of space travel into a reality – for my grandchildren, for your grandchildren, for everyone,” Branson said.
The success of the flight makes Virgin a clear player in the new space race, as several companies are gearing up to begin giving ordinary people the opportunity to be an astronaut for a day. Virgin Galactic plans to start officially sending people into space by next year.
Obviously, buying a ticket on a spaceship will not exactly be cheap, as it is estimated that it will cost you about $250,000 to reserve a seat. While that might be out of your price range, you could also test out your luck by entering the online raffle for two tickets to one of the first space trips next year. For just five bucks, you can get 50 entries, with all the money going to Charities Aid Foundation America.
Even if you don’t end up winning the raffle and don’t have a quarter-million dollars lying around, you can still enjoy the video with your kid. And who knows? Maybe by the time they’re your age, flying to space will be as inexpensive as buying a redeye flight from Spirit Airlines.