Those hoping to take a trip aboard SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic are going to have to dish out a bit more for their journey, with ticket prices jumping over the course of the next week or so by 25 percent, from $200,000 to $250,000.
According to Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson, the price for SpaceShipTwo tickets won't exceed $250,000 in the future. Virgin Galactic also wants to eventually bring the price back down to $200,000 to boost availability.
"In about a week's time, we're going to put the price up to $250,000 until the first 1,000 people have traveled, so that it matches up with inflation since we started," Branson told Space.com on Monday April 29.
According to Virgin Galactic, around 580 people have already bought tickets for a flight aboard SpaceShipTwo. Branson indicated that he felt it was the right time to temporarily raise ticket prices.
"We felt that, for the sake of those [first] 600 people who signed up... we ought to be charging inflation," Branson said.
The price increase comes after the first rocket-powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo, which took place on Monday above the Mojave Desert. The flight marks an important step for Virgin Galactic in bringing its first passengers into suborbital space. Virgin Galactic hopes to initiate commercial flights by the end of this year or early 2014. The spaceship will carry six passengers. Branson and his family members are among those interested in the first flight.
"Yes, we're spitting and brushing the helmets, just making sure that they are very shiny for later this year, or very early the following year," Branson said.