Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson each took a spin in their supersonic, suborbital rockets last month, kicking off a new era of space travel in which billionaire-backed companies offer the high-flying excursions to anyone who can afford it.
Bezos’ Blue Origin, which developed a 60-foot-tall vertically launched rocket, and Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which built an air-launched rocket-powered space plane, are now due to begin marketing themselves to wealthy thrill seekers and making suborbital jaunts more routine.
Blue Origin may conduct up to two more flights for paying customers in 2021, though the company has stayed staunchly mum about how much tickets will cost. At least one ticket was sold at an auction that concluded last month and the winner, whose identity is unknown, agreed to fork over $28 million. That person was expected to fly alongside Bezos, but they bowed out at the last minute citing “scheduling conflicts” and is now expected to cash in their ticket at a later date.