Richard Branson has told CNBC that Virgin Galactic will begin making space flights in the next several months. Virgin Galactic is Branson’s commercial spaceflight company that aims to begin taking paying customers to outer space. Branson founded Virgin Galactic back in 2004 and had previously said that he would initially go into space himself by April of this year–a deadline he missed.
But now, Branson says, “We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years. We will be in space with people not too long after that, so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead.”
Virgin Galactic’s first paying customers will see a hefty ticket price, however. Right now the price of a Virgin Galactic ticket is almost $250,000–and it won’t be dropping anytime soon. Yet Branson says he hopes to get ticket prices down to below $50,000 in a decade’s time. If that still sounds like a lot, it’s actually chump change in the bigger picture of space flight. Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the sector will be worth $2.7 trillion over the next 30 years.