Serial entrepreneur, Richard Branson has taken the mantle of giving tourists a lifetime experience by making them undertake a space tour though Virgin Galactic slated to start in 2010.
Touted as “the world’s first spaceline”, the 150-minute tour would cost $200,000 equivalent to Rs. 80 lakhs. And surprisingly, out of a list of first 200 clients, 4 are Indians – of which 2 are US based and 1 each from UK and India.
The ticket price includes a three-day training session in Mexico and departure from the spaceport in California desert. The space trip offers 8 minutes in space, 6 minutes of weightlessness of zero gravity and a panoramic view of Earth running at a speed of 4000km/hour (3 times the speed of sound), at an altitude of 110 km over earth.
The astronomical price is expected to gradually drop to around $20,000 levels within 2 years. But the price is still well below the ticket price of NASA space shuttle flights which costs up to $1 billion.
Virgin Galactic is even considering starting a hypersonic flight which would take just 45 minutes to orbit earth and 20 minutes for a New York to Sydney flight.
Other options for space travel include staying in International Space Station through Russian Space Agency for $25 million but these flights are booked till 2009. And for $1000, you can even send your ashes to eternity.
So, if you have money to shell out and are daring enough, do look at this travel option. But read the fine print, there is no insurance for such travel.