What used to cost tens of millions of dollars could now cost the price of a $250,000 house for the opportunity to live a childhood dream of exploring space.
The two private companies competing for commercial space travel, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, are months away from their first projected flight, according to AFP News, and are about to take their clientele out of this world — literally.
Although the experience lasts only a few minutes, travelers will actually get to experience being in space. The distinguishable line recognized by the U.S. Air Force that crosses into space is a 50-mile boundary between the earth’s sky and outer space itself, according to AFP News. (RELATED: Trump Is Reigning In The Government To Let Elon Musk And Jeff Bezos Get Us Into Space)
Blue Origin is planning a traditional voyage via rocket. The New Shepard, named after the first American in space — astronaut Alan Shepard — is expected to launch from Texas, where six passengers will sit in a capsule above a rocket, reported CNBC.
Virgin Galactic will have two pilots and six passengers in its space craft, SpaceShipTwo, that mimics a private jet and detaches from WhiteKnightTwo, an aircraft carrier, according to Space.com.
Passengers will free-float in space for a few minutes before heading back down to New Mexico, where Virgin’s “spaceport” resides in the desert, reported AFP News.
The trip in total only lasts the length of an average movie, but space travel is a pioneering venture, one that requires additional risk to finance.
During a flight test in 2014, one of two pilots died during a piloting error, according to AFP News. The surviving pilot suffered injuries.
The spacecraft broke apart and crashed after heavy atmospheric forces abruptly activated the brakes, according to The Daily Mail. The company claims it has made a new model, and the founder Richard Branson is already expected to join on one of the first public flights himself.
Neither Virgin Galactic nor Blue Origin has announced an official start date.
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