Don't get too bummed out just yet if you can't afford the $250,000 price tag to get your astronaut on and take Virgin Galactic into space. Talking to Business Insider this week, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said that after a period of very expensive space travel, the group expects prices to be able to come down considerably.
"I think in my lifetime we will be able to get the price down so that hundreds of thousands of people should be able to go into space," Branson said in a video posted by BI on Thursday. "That is, if we can build enough spaceships and motherships and so on to do so."
The comments come the same week in which Branson and Virgin execs held an event in Mojave, Calif. with around 400 customers in line to become pioneers in space tourism. A news story on Virgin's website recapping the event noted that supersonic powered test flights were being conducted with full commercial service "fast approaching." The release also hypothesized that the gathering "could well be the last major gathering of future astronauts before we finally start to make their dreams of space travel a reality.”
But what about the rest of us who don't exactly have the cash to cough up?
"I think the next 10 years is going to be quite expensive," Branson said. "That will enable us then to bring the price down quite considerably over the years to come."
That gives interested parties quite some time to save up, but there just might be something else in store making space travel more feasible come the first part of next year. Branson says the group has another idea that they will be revealing in about four months' time that will "enable people to travel into space very cheaply. Not everybody, but quite a few people who'd never expect to go to space."
When asked to elaborate, Branson said "I've already said too much," but if you've ever wanted to visit space, that might be just enough news to whet your appetite for the time being.