Virgin Galactic will soon re-open ticket sales for its flights and, in the meantime, prospective space tourists will be able to make a deposit to save a place in line.
Calling it the "One Small Step" initiative, the company announced it will begin accepting deposits on Wednesday through its website. Those who pay the fully-refundable $1,000 deposit will be the first offered reservations for spaceflights when Virgin Galactic re-opens ticket sales.
"We have been greatly encouraged by the ongoing and increasing demand seen from around the world for personal spaceflight," Virgin Galactic's Commercial Director Stephen Attenborough said in a statement.
Virgin Galactic did not disclose pricing or timing for the next batch of seats. CEO George Whitesides has said recently that the company may increase its prices substantially from about $250,000 for first commercial flights. Whitesides also told CNBC in January that the company has seen steadily increasing demand from prospective tourists, adding that "later on in the year we'll re-open" ticket sales.
Since its founding in 2004, the company has 603 reservations on its books – with the majority sold for between $200,000 and $250,000 per person.
Ticket sales have essentially been frozen since a Virgin Galactic crash in 2014 killed a pilot during a test flight. After updating its spacecraft, and spending the last few years verifying its safety, Virgin Galactic has flown five people to space on two successful test flights.
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